FAA Expected to Miss Drone Deadline

Cindy ZimmermanGovernment, UAV

uav-agThe commercial use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) may continue to be delayed as a new report finds the Federal Aviation Administration is unlikely to meet the September 2015 deadline set by Congress for integrating commercial drones into U.S. airspace.

The report by the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Transportation concludes that it remains “unclear” when or if FAA can meet its goals, noting that the “delays are due to unresolved technological, regulatory, and privacy issues.”

“This is no big surprise, they’ve missed deadlines since 2008,” said Idaho farmer and precision agriculture specialist Robert Blair on a Facebook post yesterday. “The bigger issue for UAVs, agriculture, and farmers is that the FAA is wanting to shut people like me down from flying my own crops. I can fly my garden, over my house, and over my scab ground but I can’t fly over my fields because I sell my crops. That would also go for my pasture and garden if I sell things. I wonder if they would stop me flying over my home because I could have a yard sale or trade in a vehicle or piece of equipment. Our government is way to overreaching especially regarding personal property and freedoms.”

This will likely be a big topic at two agricultural UAV events being held next week. The Delta AgTech Symposium: Advancing UAVs in Agriculture will be held July 7-8 at Agricenter International in Memphis and the Precision Aerial Ag Show will be July 9-10 at Progress City USA in Decatur, Ill.