A bill passed the U.S. House and Senate recently allowing drones to operate in U.S. civilian airspace. The bill is name the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) Reauthorization Act. It would relax former rules and allow drones to fly in the same airspace as private planes and commercial airliners including passenger planes.
By 2020 up to 30,000 drones could be flying in civilian airspace. 63.5 billion dollars the FAA.
Many civil libertarian groups worry about the bill's lack of any restriction on drone surveillance by police or government agencies.
Other critics note that drones crash more often than other aircraft and the presence of many drones in civilian airspace could pose a safety hazard. The FAA is required to both speed up and simplify the process that allows government agencies to operate drones. Within six months the agency must mount a pilot project that would establish six test zones in which the drone operations would be integrated into the national airspace system.
The FAA is also required to generate a plan “to safely accelerate the integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system.” Civil drones are those operated by the private sector. Obviously plans are to open up the area for private entrepreneurs. The FAA has nine months to generate this plan. For much more see this article.