UAS Rule Comments Close


Although there were widespread predictions (including by the FAA itself) that the agency’s proposed rule (PDF) for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) would overwhelm the bureaucracy with comments, only a relatively manageable 4,428 people and organizations took the time to make their feelings known. The devil is in the details, however, and some of the comment files are long and detailed and will take time for the FAA to digest. There have also been several requests for the FAA to extend the comment period. About 20 percent of the comments are not being publicly disclosed for proprietary, business or simple good taste reasons but they will all get the same scrutiny from the agency.

Commenters seemed to generally have a constructive approach to the NPRM and suggested changes that would fix issues that would affect their use of the devices. But there were those who simply don’t think they have any place in society or reason for being. Many of those commenting are model aircraft enthusiasts who are clearly worried that regulations will spread and “ruin our hobby.” The next step is for the agency to digest the comments and then rewrite the proposed rule to reflect the suggestions it agrees with. It’s not clear how long that might take but the agency has repeatedly said it’s putting a huge amount of resources into the process.