Government Restrictions Rapidly Increasing Adoption Rate of Drones, Study Finds
Government Restrictions on Drones: Attitudes towards so-called “disruptives technology,” is fortunately changing since drones have played an important role in assisting in meeting some of the needs from COVID-19.
For too long people have associated unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with the military bombings many have witnessed on television. With the increasing support drones have shown, especially in the medical field, minds have become open to the possibilities of services that drones may be able to do in society.
COVID-19 & Drones
We have about a dozen blogs on the contributions that drones have made in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus. Because of their flexibility, agility and speed, drones are especially well suited for crisis response.
Medical supply delivery is an area where drones have been very involved. They have also been active in disinfecting large areas, and monitoring social distancing. Cargo drones have also been in demand for global air cargo.
A study based upon a survey of 325 senior executives in the European aerospace industry, found that 62% of those surveyed said that disruptive technologies are contributing to making their companies more competitive. In fact, 52% believe that they will witness autonomous and electric aircraft in the skies within the next few years.
These positive responses show how the attitudes of people, especially senior executives, feel about this fairly recent disruptive technology. Some fairly recent studies have demonstrated that as many as about a third of people who were questioned, said they are interested in receiving drone deliveries.
These same executives also expressed their sentiments that not only did disruptive technologies make their companies more competitive, but also that current trends towards autonomous aircraft and on-demand mobility, were an inevitable outcome. In fact, 58 % said they believe that autonomous aircraft and on-demand flights are the future of commercial aerospace, while the same percentage of them also believe that commercial electric short-haul flights will become available in a few years.
Federal Regulation and Government Restrictions
Nonetheless many drone operators and enthusiasts have expressed their disappointment that federal regulations have not kept up with the technology. Their feeling is that prohibitions on flying drones over people, and at night, are out-dated.
However there are hopeful signs because a Wing Hummingbird drone from Project Wing arrived and set down its package at a delivery location in Blacksburg, Virginia, last year. Furthermore, Federal regulators announced that plans were underway to allow drone operators to fly their UAVs over populated areas and at night, as long as operators are properly trained and the drones are equipped with anti-collision lighting.
Transportation Secretary, Elaine Chao, made the following hopeful statement in a speech at a major transportation conference in Washington, D.C., last year (2019).
“This will help communities reap the considerable economic benefits of this growing industry and helping our country remain a global technology leader.”
It is no secret that drones have become increasingly popular among hobbyists and those who use them for commercial purposes. Transportation Secretary, Chao, says that by mid-December, 2019 the FAA had registered nearly 1.3 million drones nationwide and had registered more than 116,000 drone operators.
With the government restrictions decreasing and the adoption rate of drones inceasing, the future for drones looks bright.
These changes make it possible for drones to be used much more extensively in such areas as surveying construction sites and delivering critical medical supplies to first responders, as well as numerous other uses.