April 21, 2021 was a big day for US drone regulations: rules defining the remote ID for drones and allowing it to fly over people and at night took effect. These rules have been in place for several years and the commercial drone industry has largely viewed their development as progress.
What’s next for drone integration and US drone regulations? Will a change in the US presidential administration affect the pace of progress? Will the US take a leadership role in the global drone industry?
Arjun Garg, a new partner in Hogan Lovells’ transportation regulation practice who most recently served as chief counsel of the Federal Aviation Administration, says the next steps in integrating drones into NAS are urgently awaited:
“These rules are a step-by-step step towards making routine, widespread drone operations possible in US airspace,” says Garg. “While these long-awaited rules have only just come into effect, the urgent focus is on what’s next. There is a strong demand for regulators to advance and unlock the full power of drones. For example, it is still generally restricted to fly a drone out of the operator’s line of sight, which limits many beneficial uses of drones. “
Are US drone regulations non-partisan?
The US Drone Integration Pilot Program (IPP), the BEYOND Program and many other current government programs to develop US drone regulations were developed by the Trump administration and must now be implemented by the Biden administration. Are commercial drones largely a non-partisan problem?
Garg says it is them. “Aviation is known for its bipartisan collaboration and it’s great to see that tradition extend to drones. Unlocking the tremendous benefits drones can bring to Americans is a goal that both Democrats and Republicans want to advance. “
Lisa Ellman, partner at Hogan Lovells and executive director of the Commercial Drone Alliance, says the drone industry is a significant opportunity for the US:
“Developing commercial UAS marketplaces for the benefit of the American public represents a significant opportunity for our country to achieve key policy priorities, including sustainable transportation and the environment, infrastructure development, job creation, economic recovery, COVID-19 response and justice. ” says Ellman.
Miriam McNabb is editor-in-chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a marketplace for professional drone services, and a fascinating observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Author of over 3,000 articles focusing on the commercial drone space, Miriam is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam graduated from the University of Chicago and has over 20 years experience in high-tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For advice or writing in the drone industry, email Miriam.
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