The unprecedented development of UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) or “drone” technology over the past few years has given birth to an extensive amount of potential revenue streams for current operators, from filmmaking all the way to agriculture. Unfortunately, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has struggled to keep up with this rapid pace of development, reflected by its currently inadequate regulation of UAV’s in America.
Under the current policy, UAV’s are classified as Model Aircraft and while operators are not required to obtain permission to fly, they are only allowed to operate within a recreational capacity. This classification strictly disallows operators from flying for any type of profit unless they can acquire a permit from the FAA allowing commercial use.
To date, less than fifty commercial licenses have been granted by the FAA and they have mainly gone to large companies that use the technology for aerial surveying. The FAA has, however, recently proposed a framework of regulations that will allow operators to fly under commercial circumstances.