The United States Congress is expected to re-authorize UAVs sometime in early to mid 2015 to continue to put pressure on the FAA to get commercial rules together according to the AP via KHON 2. The UAV market is expected to grow to $10 Billion/year in the near future.
…That appears to be what some key lawmakers have in mind. “We in Congress are very interested in UAS,” Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said at a hearing this month, referring to unmanned aerial systems, or drones. “We understand UAS are an exciting technology with the potential to transform parts of our economy. … It is our responsibility to take a close look.”
One of the committee’s first priorities next year is writing legislation to reauthorize FAA programs and overhaul aviation policy. The bill is expected to include directions from lawmakers on how to integrate drones into the nation’s aviation system. The last reauthorization bill, passed in 2012, directed the agency to integrate drones by Sept. 30, 2015, but it’s clear the FAA will miss that deadline.
Rep Shuster also mentioned that he does not want line of sight or pilot’s license to operate. This may be possible on the hobbyist level with very low level flights but any serious remote sensing with UAV flights will need pilots license and other equipment like lights and transponders to operate at normal flight levels (flight plans filed first with FAA regardless of visibility conditions) to safely operate without line of sight.