Amazon’s vice president of global public policy, Paul Misener, has criticized FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) over the slowness in developing the policies of unmanned aerial systems (UASs or UAVs) in United States. This concern was relayed during the meeting with Senate members of the Subcommittee on Aviations, Operations, Safety and Security in Washington DC.
Misener told the senators that although the United States was catching up in permitting current commercial UAS testing, the United States remained behind in planning for future commercial UAS operations. He also stated the difference between U.S. and places like Europe is that in Europe, the company has already started to test the drone outdoors in locations such as the United Kingdom. Outside U.S, there is also no requirement to wait more than one or two months to start the testing.
However, on the same day, FAA has issued an interim policy which streamlined the process of approval for commercial drone usage. The companies which had been exempted under the current law are given a “blanket” permission to fly UAVs anywhere in U.S. skies under a certain restrictions. Therefore, for the companies who have not gotten the exemption are not allowed to operate their drones as it is illegal to do so.
Senator Cory Booker has reported to be working on a bill which gives the companies the right to use drones, in which the process could take more than two years to be finalized on the rules by FAA. Another concern which arises from the usage of drone is that there will be a potential privacy concern for drones which have video capability flying at U.S. skies.