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The scores of national newspaper and TV stories recently that have portrayed drones as super neat and vital for a new industry, while making no mention of the fact that they violate privacy laws and are unsafe, have been funded by the drone lobbyists. Big companies, such as Amazon and real estate, have set up shop on K-street to try to use public opinion to sway the FAA into relenting on new regulations.
However, the Obama administration seems to want to have no part of it. Realizing the tremendous potential for abuse by terrorists and paparazzi alike, the FAA issued statements indicating that regulations grounding the drones will not be revised anytime soon.
The WSJ reports, ” Widespread use of commercial drones is likely to take significantly longer than many proponents of the budding industry anticipate, according to U.S. and Canadian aviation regulators.
That blunt message was delivered by high-ranking aviation safety officials from the U.S., Canada and the United Nations last week to an industry conference here.
At a time when champions of unmanned aircraft are escalating efforts to obtain federal approvals—with some U.S. lawmakers also demanding swift regulatory action—the latest comments highlight the extent of the hurdles that remain.
Last week’s session underscored the reluctance of regulators across North America and other regions to quickly give the green light to extensive drone flights, based on safety concerns. A representative of the International Civil Aviation Organization, an arm of the U.N., expressed similar sentiments during the panel sponsored by the Air Line Pilots Association, a major union.
Granting regulatory approval to operate remotely piloted vehicles among manned aircraft is “not going to be as soon as some people tend to think,” John Hickey, the No. 2 safety official at the Federal Aviation Administration, told the gathering.
“We’re still many years away from what you would see as safe integration in the very busiest airspace,” according to Mr. Hickey. “We will not allow [drones] to come into the system until we are completely sure they are safe.””