Accelerating Drone Innovation While Ensuring Public Safety

Two years ago, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), at the behest of Congress, created rules for the commercial use of drones. While these rules opened the door for initial adoption, they do not allow drones to deliver packages or operate outside of line of sight, at night, or over people without receiving a special exemption. Moreover, there have been a number of security incidents involving drones over the past year, including a collision between a civilian drone and an Army helicopter, showing that security agencies require tools to minimize safety risks for the public.

The problem is that law enforcement agencies have limited capabilities to detect, and if necessary respond to, errant or malicious drones. Addressing this challenge—both by granting additional authority to law enforcement agencies and by pursuing technological advancements—would make the United States more competitive in drone technology and accelerate the integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System.

Please join ITIF for a panel discussion on the merits of granting law enforcement agencies this additional authority (see legislative proposal and fact sheet), as well as additional steps policymakers can take to ensure safety, bolster U.S. competitiveness, and encourage commercial innovation in drone technology.

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