The FAA has approved six test ranges for drones in the United States where unmanned aircraft can legally be flown. Earlier this afternoon, President Obama signed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act into law. According to the AnneMarie Ternay of the FAA, the legislation will create safe spaces for unmanned aircraft testing, essentially paving the way for widespread commercial and law enforcement drone use in the United States.
“The impact of integrating Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) is similar to the integration of jet powered aircraft that occurred during the 1950s and 1960s. While the expanded use of UAS presents great opportunities, it also presents significant challenges since unmanned aircraft are inherently different from manned aircraft. The FAA will meet the challenge of unmanned aircraft as we did the challenge of jet powered aircraft,” said FAA Administrator Mike Huerta in a prepared statement.
According to the document, the FAA is now accepting applicants for UAV test sites. The announcement follows on the heels of the Pentagon’s unveiling of a new medal for drone warfare.