Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A sky full of drones: FAA predicts 10,000 drones could be airborne in U.S. skies by 2020

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
March 26th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Federal Aviation Administration has predicted that there will be 10,000 commercial drones over U.S. skies by the year 2020. Guidelines still need to be approved, and Congress has asked the FAA to write regulations on civil operation of small unmanned aircraft systems in domestic airspace and submit them by 2015.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Once enabled, commercial UAS markets will develop. There are many potential ways for a company to generate revenue from UAS applications, whether from new markets or more efficient applications in established markets. Based upon the expected regulatory environment, FAA predicts roughly 10,000 active commercial UAS's in five years," states the FAA Aerospace Forecast for Fiscal Years 2012-2032.

When rules are written, law enforcement will be first in line, Director of Corporate Analysis at the Teal Group Phil Finnegan says. The group, which monitors the aerospace industry, adds that this will be followed by civilian applications. It is estimated $94 billion will be spent over the course of 10 years for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, according to an FAA document, which references the Teal Group.

As of now, the FAA has issued 1,428 licenses to police, universities, and federal agencies since 2007, a number far higher than previously known. Of these, 327 are still listed as active.

As was reported in an earlier Catholic Online story, drones already hover Hollywood film sets, professional sports events, track wildfires in Colorado, survey Kansas farm crops and vineyards in California.

In law enforcement, the drones also locate marijuana fields; reconstruct crime scenes and spot illegal immigrants breaching U.S. borders.

Drones currently in civilian use fly through U.S. skies, disregarding tight federal restrictions on drone use that require even the police and the military to get special permits.


Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)