Despite apparently being reminded multiple times that something called “drones” exists, the FAA forgot to include them–at all–in their new $5 billion system.
We didn’t understand the magnitude to which (drones) would be an oncoming tidal wave, something that must be dealt with, and quickly,” said Ed Bolton, the agency’s assistant administrator for NextGen. But—and this is a big “but”—Congress specifically ordered the FAA to take drones into account.
Now, the hardware and software has been installed for several key systems, but there’s no support for drone traffic. The NextGen roadmap for the next five years also does not include plans for managing that traffic, and experts fear the FAA already too far along in the process to make such a radical shift.
Drone technology is evolving extremely quickly (there was a drone canvasing the Las Vegas strip), and I strongly believe with the advances being made with road-based vehicles, drones will change the way we look at air-travel as well.
Plus, Amazon, Google and other delivery services want to use drone technology to deliver–which I do believe is the future. It just depends on how quickly the rest of our systems and laws will adjust.
Will the FAA be able to keep up with this technology? This report isn’t encouraging.