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If you can’t wait for the day drones plop packages on your porch or a flying car whisks you to work, you should know that the hold-up isn’t technological, but technocratic. Before these future flyers can take off, they must learn to play by the rules of the sky.
That means communicating with air traffic control and other aircraft, spotting and avoiding threats, and generally knowing what to do when things go sideways. Making all of this happen demands whole new levels of capability — not just from the aircraft, but from the sprawling system that oversees them.
The good news is, change is coming. Even though commercial drone technology barely existed a decade ago, regulators are hustling to integrate it into the national airspace. The FAA tapped Intel CEO Brian Krzanich to lead its Drone Advisory Committee and established seven test sites to explore drone flight management. NASA is supporting the quest with its unmanned aircraft traffic management research program.
Although everyone is moving fast, they’re shunning the “break things” part of the of the Silicon Valley ethos. Safety trumps efficiency and technological advances. “Our challenge is to find the right balance where safety and innovation co-exist on relatively equal planes,” FAA chief Michael Huerta told the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Symposium recently. “As we move toward fully integrating unmanned aircraft into our airspace, the questions we need to answer are only getting more complicated.”
Read more at: https://www.wired.com/2017/05/americas-plan-somehow-make-drones-not-ruin-skies
This Quick Read was submitted by Dan Hounsell, editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions, firstname.lastname@example.org. To read more about the growing use of drones in facility maintenance, visit https://www.facilitiesnet.com/16438FMD.