By now you’ve heard about drones flying around the country to deliver food and medical supplies.
And, you know, some of them, like drones, have proven quite successful.
But there are also some that don’t do so well, such as the unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV.
The drone that’s been the mainstay of the U.S. military for decades is now a tool of the commercial aerospace industry, with some drone manufacturers offering their own versions, like the AeroVironment quadcopter.
The FAA has been trying to push for more safety measures for UAVs, like crash avoidance, since at least 2014.
But for a number of reasons, including a lack of competition from UAV makers and a fear of the potential for terrorism, the FAA hasn’t been able to get much traction in that arena.
So now, the Federal Aviation Administration has proposed rules that would give UAV operators and their companies a little more breathing room to try out new technology, with the goal of creating a safer, more reliable system.
To help make that happen, the agency is holding a meeting this week to get input from the drone industry.
But one of the participants, Michael J. Graziano, an FAA administrator under George W. Bush, has come out against the proposed rule, saying that he thinks it could create unnecessary confusion.
“The FAA is proposing a rule that would eliminate the FAA’s oversight of UAV technology and, thus, could have significant unintended consequences,” Graziani wrote in a blog post, adding that it would also be a “potentially expensive and potentially burdensome regulation” for companies.
Graziano also argues that the proposed FAA rules could “allow operators to bypass the FAA and take advantage of a loophole that has been used to promote their products and services.”
Gaziano’s comments came after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed a new set of rules in late 2015 to protect the internet of things, which includes all of the things that can communicate with each other, like your smart thermostat.
Gaziano wrote that the FAA has “shown little willingness to enforce” the rules because the agency “does not have the authority to regulate these devices and the companies that make them.”
Aerospace industry group is also fighting back against the FAA rules, arguing that they will allow companies like AeroVirion to “break the law” by offering products like quadcopters that don