March 26, 2021 Feature

Drone Law and Policy: Lifting Off or Stalling the Industry?

Col. Dawn M. K. Zoldi (retired)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, drones have emerged as the ultimate social distancer: delivering medical supplies, helping public safety organizations to support communities, disinfecting workplaces and hospitals, and more. For example, Walmart is now delivering home self-collection and contactless at-home COVID test kits to customers in multiple states. These operations were made possible through forward-leaning regulatory applications. This good news is tempered by proposals that have the potential to stymie some operations. What happens today in drone law and regulation will set the stage for the future of advanced air mobility (AAM; think: flying autonomous taxis). This article will fly over the latest developments at a thirty-thousand-foot view.

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