Domestic Drones

October 18, 2013 • Volume 23, Issue 37
Are unmanned aircraft safe?
By Daniel McGlynn


Students fly a drone helicopter (Getty Images/The Kansas City Star/David Eulitt)
Students fly a drone helicopter at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Drones could generate $10 billion a year in nationwide economic impact by 2025, according to one estimate. Rising domestic drone use has triggered intense debate about safety, privacy and regulation of the rapidly emerging technology. (Getty Images/The Kansas City Star/David Eulitt)

Drones, or unmanned remote-controlled aircraft, are well known for their deadly role in warfare. But in the past few years they have emerged on the domestic front in a variety of civilian applications, from firefighting and police surveillance to scientific research and aerial photography. The growth of domestic drones has sparked excitement over their commercial potential. But drones have also prompted concern that they could violate personal privacy or pose safety hazards for other aircraft and for people on the ground. The Federal Aviation Administration is required to develop regulations to integrate unmanned aircraft into U.S. airspace by 2015. Meanwhile, drone advocates forecast that the industry's development could have a total nationwide economic impact of $82 billion from 2015–2025, with California, Washington state, Texas, Florida and Arizona benefiting the most.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Air Transportation
Jan. 18, 2019  Airline Industry Turbulence
May 15, 2015  Airline Safety
Oct. 18, 2013  Domestic Drones
Mar. 07, 2008  Future of the Airlines
Jun. 21, 2002  Future of the Airline Industry
Sep. 24, 1999  Airline Industry Problems
Oct. 08, 1993  Airline Safety
Oct. 24, 1986  Airline Deregulation
Oct. 19, 1984  Safety in the Air
Nov. 26, 1982  Troubled Air Transport Industry
Jun. 25, 1976  Air Safety
Mar. 21, 1975  Air-Fare Control
Jan. 27, 1971  Future of the Airlines
Sep. 10, 1969  Jumbo Jets: New Travel Era
Feb. 22, 1967  Airport Modernization
Mar. 18, 1964  Supersonic Transport Race
Feb. 07, 1962  Troubles of the Airlines
May 11, 1960  Prevention of Air Accidents
Sep. 17, 1958  Safety in the Air
May 23, 1956  Jet Age Problems
May 20, 1953  Safer Flying
Feb. 26, 1947  Air Safety
Jun. 08, 1944  Domestic Air Transportation
Apr. 08, 1944  International Air Transport
Mar. 02, 1939  Transatlantic Air Commerce
Jul. 14, 1927  Commercial Aeronautics
Jun. 20, 1925  Development of Commercial Air Navigation
Air Safety and Security
Civil Rights and Civil Liberty Issues
Regulation and Deregulation