A Texas volunteer group that searches for lost and missing persons is resuming use of drones in such efforts after a federal court said the Federal Aviation Agency's email warning the group not to use such unmanned aircraft wasn't legally binding.
Amazon is asking federal regulators permission to conduct outdoor testing of drones that the online retailer hopes one day will routinely deliver packages to customers in 30 minutes or less. The company submitted a petition July 9 to exempt it from Federal Aviation Administration's rules prohibiting commercial operation of drones or unmanned aircraft systems.
The Transportation Department watchdog said it will review why some major airlines and their pilots are not using performance-based navigation- which is part of the Federal Aviation Administration's NextGen initiative- even though it can deliver significant benefits.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued a list of "do's and don'ts" to model aircraft operators following several "reckless" incidents of the devices near airports and around large crowds. The agency published an interpretation in the Federal Register June 23 of the special rules for model aircraft in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.
The FAA is facing major technological, regulatory and management barriers and until they're addressed, integration of drones or unmanned aircraft systems for civilian and law enforcement purposes will be slow and risky, the IG's report (pdf) said.
The Obama administration needs to conduct a "rigorous strategic review" and cost-benefit analysis of the use of drones in counterterrorism efforts, said a new report on lethal drones released by a nonpartisan task force co-chaired by a former U.S. Central Command commander.
While some lawmakers find the Federal Aviation Administration's implementation of key 2020 NextGen program milestones slow, the Transportation Department's Inspector General says it's not due to inadequate funding.
Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controllers work too long, causing them fatigue that leads to poor work performance, a June 13 National Research Council report says. "The FAA faces many challenges in identifying the level of controller staffing needed to ensure safe and cost-effective services nationally and at its 315 facilities, starting with the lack of definitive methods for relating staffing levels to safety," the NRC says.
The Federal Aviation Administration lacks the necessary authority to create an incentive program that encourages pilots to equip aircraft with technology critical to the success of FAA's 2020 NextGen program.
For the first time, the Federal Aviation Administration allowed a commercial drone operation over land. AeroVironment, an unmanned aircraft system maker, flew a drone over Alaska June 8 to conduct aerial surveys for oil company BP.