- Readers can decide for themselves what the latest GAO report on regulatory efforts over UAV integration in the US national airspace may say about the Administration’s priorities, or the state of the US economy as a whole:
“As of December 4, 2014, FAA granted seven commercial exemptions to the filmmaking industry allowing small UAS operations in the airspace. However, over 140 applications for exemptions were waiting to be reviewed for other commercial operations such as electric power line monitoring and precision agriculture. […] A 2014 MITRE study found that Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada have progressed further than the United States with regulations that support commercial UAS operations.” [Emphasis DID.]
- That said, US lawmakers expressed alarm [WaPo] about the risks posed by cheap drones used in civilian airspace at a House Transportation Aviation Subcommittee hearing yesterday (full video).
- And they have a point, as deconfliction is a serious issue. The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) recently disclosed [BBC] that a “serious risk of collision” had occurred last July between a small rotorcraft UAV and an Airbus 320 about to land in Heathrow.
- For reference, here’s the list [PDF] of small commercial UAV operators approved by the UK CAA.
- Flight Global: Danish army operates Puma UAV in civilian overland exercise.
- Textron received a certificate of authorization from the FAA to start Aerosonde operations at the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP) test site.
- Airports in the Arabian peninsula are becoming increasingly busy since they positioned themselves as inter-continental hubs between Europe, Asia, and Africa. A significant amount of airspace in the region is reserved for military use. The UAE has been working to alleviate the pressure and better coordinate military and civilian airspace uses, something that China would be well advised to emulate. The National | Emirates 24×7 (May 2014) | NATS airspace management company.