Commercial drones face major regulatory hurdles

It will take the Federal Aviation Administration years to sort out a litany of regulatory questions that need to be sorted out before the nascent commercial drone industry can take flight, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

Congress is requiring the FAA to develop a plan for boosting the use of drones in the U.S. by 2015. The FAA last month released its first “roadmap” for commercial drones, according to The Hill’s Transportation and Infrastructure blog.

But the FAA is proceeding cautiously and 2015 will likely reflect just the beginning of the regulatory process, which will need to answer numerous questions.

“Will there be altitude restrictions? Can these unmanned aircraft fly near airports? If so, how close? Do they all need a remote pilot? How do you certify that they’re airworthy? Should they carry equipment to transmit their identification and location data? If one crashes, who will be responsible for addressing damage?,” asked Bloomberg Businessweek’s Justin Bachman.

Read the full article here, and The Hill’s take here.