One of the more noteworthy news items this week, was the passage by the US Congress of a bill that will usher in a new era in the nation’s skies. The new bill will hasten the switch of the air traffic control system from the current radar-based system to one that relies on GPS.
Another element of the bill was the fact that Congress has authorized unmanned drones to share the same airspace as piloted commercial passenger airplanes.
The FAA will be required to provide military, commercial and privately-owned drones with expanded access to U.S. airspace by Sept. 30, 2015. Today, drone use is mostly restricted to blocks of military airspace, border patrols and some public and private usage.
The next step is for the FAA to provide a plan that will show how drones can safely be operated in shared airspace with piloted aircraft.