Unmanned aircraft pose difficult safety and privacy questions for regulators and citizens. Cheap and easy-to-operate unmanned aircraft could allow local, state, and federal governments to increase aerial surveillance in the United States. Moreover, although there is intense political pressure to incorporate unmanned aircraft into the NAS, these aircraft do not yet have a safety record approaching that of commercial airliners, and they still cannot adequately “see and avoid” other air traffic. This article describes the short-term regulatory and privacy hurdles facing the unmanned aircraft industry.
Benjamin Kapnik, Unmanned but Accelerating: Navigating the Regulatory and Privacy Challenges of Introducing Unmanned Aircraft into the National Airspace System, 84 J. Air L. & Com. 439 (2019).