Commercial use of drones in the US skyrocketing

The easier FAA Section 333 process and an overall sense that the US commercial drone regulatory process is heading in the right direction is leading to a boom in applications and approvals. Excerpt from a good Verge article:

The US is finally catching up to Europe and Canada.

Over the last two years, the lack of a legal framework for commercial drone flight in the US has slowed the growth of the industry domestically. Despite creating some of the world's most advanced drone technology, the US was lagging behind other advanced nations in putting that innovation to work. "Getting an FAA exemption was pretty complicated, and hence you mostly had just larger companies, military contractors, and big energy firms spending the effort to obtain them," says Bilal Zuberi, a venture capitalist with investments in the drone industry. "At one point having an exemption was thought of as a real competitive advantage. That's no longer the case. It’s now just a basic, painful, bureaucratic process of standing in line to get your permission."

In the six weeks since we started working on this project, the number of drone exemptions processed by the FAA has nearly doubled. "Over the last 12 months, one of the things I have noticed is major corporations have decided the existential risk of drones is gone," says Zuberi. "Now most big companies have tasked somebody to figure out their "drone" strategy. Previously there was a lot more action happening overseas. Thankfully, that is starting to change."

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Comment by technicus acityone on July 8, 2015 at 6:21am

Rise - Not fleet or drone usage  but legal approving =)

Comment by F1P on July 8, 2015 at 7:19pm

This can be interpreted as the result of a process of development "drone" companies, which began to make a some profit, and is now ready to go for the extremely heavy and unpleasant procedure for the legalization of their business. 
It is possible that soon the number of firms operating without legal permits and documents fell markedly, and then we will assess the real growth rate counts

Comment by Hugues on July 9, 2015 at 1:58am

It's funny how the US always feels lagging behind in terms of drone (commercial) uses versus Europe when it is the exact opposite in reality : drone uses are still strictly forbidden in many european countries, including mine. There is only in France where use was regulated pretty soon. But still the regulation is much stricter and difficult to comply with than what I observe with this FAA exemption that everybody seems to get quite easily. Soon the exceptional exemption will become predominant over the "rule".

Let's hope Europe will get inspiration from your US authorities allowing such drone commercial boom; but I'm afraid of the European mentality which is first : forbidden, we do not understand it, we regulate it to make it difficult(before it even exists).

Comment by technicus acityone on July 9, 2015 at 8:58am

n any case the commercial usage of drones is too low and the number of the "commercial" drones negligible in comparison with their total number that fly in the sky =)


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