Domestic drones

Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, are aircraft either remotely controlled by a pilot on the ground or autonomously flying a pre-programmed mission. Currently, anyone can purchase and legally fly a drone in most parts of the country, and more than 850,000 drones are now registered with the FAA, up from about 300,000 in 2016. However, advocates say these developments may not be good news to those who value their privacy. Hobbyist pilots are required to keep their drones in sight, below 400 feet, and out of airspace meant for passenger-carrying airplanes. Local and federal law enforcement agencies are rapidly increasing their use of domestic drones and manufacturers are considering arming these drones with nonlethal weapons like rubber bullets, Tasers and tear gas. Drones are used for search and rescue, photography, spotting wildfires, monitoring crops, patrolling our borders, and online retailer Amazon has even started using drones to deliver packages.

The FAA recently announced new rules that will allow small drones to fly over people and at night, a big step toward their eventual use for widespread commercial deliveries. The agency claimed these rules will address security concerns by requiring remote identification technology in drones that enable their identification from the ground.

Proposed Legislation: Reintroduction of S.600 - Drone Integration and Zoning Act (117th Congress 2021-2022)
Prospective Sponsor: Sen. Mike Lee (UT)

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Poll Opening Date
May 22, 2023
Poll Closing Date
May 28, 2023

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