A Sept 2012 report to Congress by its research arm, the Government Accountabiilty Office addresses specfic questions:
As requested, this report discusses (1) the status of obstacles identified in GAO’s 2008 report to integrate UAS into the national airspace system, (2) FAA’s progress in meeting its congressional requirements for UAS, and (3) emerging issues. GAO reviewed and analyzed documents and interviewed relevant government, academic, and private-sector entities, as well as UAS users and civil liberties organizations.
The report recommends more oversight by FAA and casts a skeptical tone as to whether the pace of current efforts will mean meeting the 2015 target date.
FAA should incorporate regular monitoring of its efforts to assess progress toward fulfilling its statutory requirements. FAA, DHS, and DOJ should explore whether any actions are needed to guide the collection and use of UAS-acquired data. GAO provided a draft of this report to officials at DOT, DHS, DOJ, and three other agencies. DHS and DOJ concurred with the recommendation; DOT officials agreed to consider the recommendations.
Among other things, the report urged the Transportation Security Administration to come up with a plan to secure operation centers for unmanned drones, recommended the government formulate privacy protections to head off “abuses” and also pointed out safety concerns that need to be addressed regarding GPS spoofing and jamming.
- report (pdf) via Wiredhttp://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/09/gao-drone-report/