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Drone access to US skies faces significant hurdles
Effort give drones access to US skies faces significant hurdles, inspector general report says
By JOAN LOWY
Associated Press
2014-07-01 06:22 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A U.S. government watchdog says the federal effort to provide drones regular access to U.S. skies faces significant hurdles and won't meet a September 2015 deadline set by Congress.

A report by the Transportation Department's inspector general says the Federal Aviation Administration hasn't figured out what kind of technology unmanned aircraft should use to avoid crashing into other planes.

The FAA also hasn't set standards for certifying the safety of drone designs and manufacture like those that exist for manned aircraft. Nor has the agency developed procedures for air traffic controllers to guide drones or criteria for training "pilots" who remotely control drones from the ground.

The report says that until the FAA resolves these problems and others, the effort to integrate drones into the national airspace will move slowly.

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