Now that Congress' demand to put drones in the air over America is law, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must write the rules governing the operation of civilian and government drones.
The new drone law contains a tangle of dates and deadlines for those rules. The "countdown" in the law is confusing to sort out, but the deadlines are key to understanding how drones will be phased into our airspace and our lives.
(CDT has outlined a legislative proposal to protect privacy as drones are deployed over the U.S.)
The FAA has issued more than 300 temporary licenses - mostly to law enforcement agencies and research institutions. The new law - officially titled the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 or P.L. 112-95 - requires the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) and the FAA to 1) expedite the current licensing process for government and non-government drones and make the process permanent, 2) establish rules for the certification and operation of drones, and 3) oversee the full integration of government and non-government drones in U.S. airspace.
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