The Federal Aviation Administration has missed the deadline mandated by Congress to determine how to integrate unmanned aircrafts, commonly known as drones, into the airspace of the United States.
Congress passed the FAA Modernization Act in 2012, which gave the FAA until the end of September of 2015 to establish regulations for commercial drones in the United States.
With the start of October, that deadline has passed.
So far, the FAA has done nothing more than provide murky guidelines and regulatory patches. One small law regarding drone usage has not yet gone into effect.
The FAA has done a poor job of meeting deadlines provided by Congress in the past. Over the previous two years, there have been many lawsuits and confusions regarding the enforcement of drones. There exist several conflicting guidelines regarding who can fly a drone, where they can operate one, and for what purposes they can be utilized.
In 2014, the FAA disallowed drones from being used for commercial purposes. However, the administration has somewhat backed off from thiat mandate this year. The FAA has allowed certain drone businesses to opt out of the current regulations, and this has resulted in a large amount of confusion.
The FAA, despite being provided a timeframe of three years, has failed to finalize the rules regarding drone usage. Without these regulations, people involved in the drone industry are left wondering where federal regulations stand.
Meanwhile, smaller authorities, including state and local governments, have started creating their own laws regarding the operation of drones. However, these smaller authorities may not the ability to enforce these laws.
Despite the passing of the deadline, the FAA is still unlikely to speed up the establishment of any useful drone laws. In May of 2014, Congress even admitted that the FAA would probably fail to meet its established deadline.
The issue is only going to become larger, as the FAA expects that more than 1 million drones will be sold to consumers this upcoming holiday season.