DOT Report: FAA Will Miss 2015 UAV Deadline

The FAA is unlikely to meet its 2015 deadline for integrating UAVs into the National Airspace System as the agency grapples with a number of significant safety and certification issues, according to a report by the Department of Transportation's Office of the Inspector General.

The 33-page report notes that the FAA has yet to reach consensus on standards for technology that would enable UAS to detect and avoid other aircraft and ensure reliable datalink communication between ground stations and the unmanned aircraft they control.

The FAA has also been unable to establish the regulatory framework for UAS integration, such as aircraft certification requirements, standard air traffic procedures for safely mixing UAVs with manned aircraft, or an adequate controller training program for managing UAV operations.

The FAA is making some progress in meeting UAV-related goals spelled out in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, the report notes, "but the agency is significantly behind schedule in meeting most of them, including the goal of achieving safe integration by September 2015."

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