Drones have come a long way in the past few years — and even months. Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Michael Huerta gave a “State of the industry” speech to provide updates on the FAA’s outlook on drones during a speech today at the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Symposium in Reston, VA.
“We’re ushering in a new age of American aviation: the unmanned aircraft era,” Huerta said in a prepared statement. “And it’s moving at a quicker pace than anything we’ve seen before.”
Here are some quick facts about the drone industry:
- 770,000 drone registrations have been received in a little over 15 months
- The B4UFly app, which the FAA created to let people know where it’s safe and legal to fly a drone, has been downloaded more than 200,000 times
- As of March 21, the FAA had issued 37,579 remote pilot certificates
Huerta said the FAA is now ramping up to make the enormous amount of drones in the skies safer, as well as they are working on expanding operations so that unmanned aircraft can be flown over people, and beyond visual line of sight.
The FAA has now formed two groups — the Drone Advisory Committee, and the Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team. It also recently launched an Aviation Rulemaking Committee to help create standards for remotely identifying and tracking unmanned aircraft during operations.