Is there any petitions for legislation going around to expand the rights for commercial use of UAVs? I know the FAA is supposed to rule on this issue "soon" but sounds less then hopeful. The US is far behind every other country in letting the private sector use and develop this technology. This technology will revolutionize countless industries. Yet the US is sitting on its hands. Of course the US probably has more active GOVT drones in the US sky then any other country. Yet we can not use this technology for the private sector. This issue needs to be pushed hard. Am I late in the game? Is this already being done? If so where can I push the issue? If not, lets start. We need professional reasonable letters to send to our local and federal elected leaders.
Everybody seems to have a wait and see attitude from what I've seen. Only commercial interests seem to be pressing the issue with the gov. right now. It's pretty likely that the rules will be written so that only major commercial players will be able to sell/operate drones commercially.
There will probably be fees, certifications, regulations, and other BS so that only a major company can do anything. All the existing rackets are sure to demand their cut, so you'll probably need to pay a union airplane mechanic to install and maintain your motor, a FCC certified testing lab to design, build, and certify your radio setup, and you'll have to pay the doctor for your medical certification, the FAA to certify your airframe, etc., etc..
I've suggested several times here that we get am ADSB system running so that we can say that collisions are actively prevented using the latest technology. I think the only real way to get reasonable rules and regulations is to be a true leader in safety and technology so that our systems are adopted as to the minimum requirements.
My line of interest there is hundreds of millions of dollars in work and savings alone. It is really a shame.
The FAA has been pretty quiet so far, but what they have announced is good news. Police, Fire, and rescue can operate vehicles that weigh up to 25lbs with no special approvals or regulations. (this was originally 4.4lbs, but FAA increased the weight limit).
The best organization to get in touch with is the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).Especially look in the section under "Advocacy". They are a major political advocate for unmanned systems.
Another organization that is gaining momentum in Pennsylvania is The Cluster for Unmanned Vehicles and Robotics (CUVR). This member supported grass roots organization promotes commercial uses of UAV's. More information can be found at their website (http://www.cuvr.org).