The Electronic Frontier Foundation published an article about the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) recently released list of both government and private organizations authorized to fly "drones" or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). According to the report:
These lists—which include the Certificates of Authorizations (COAs), issued to public entities like police departments, and the Special Airworthiness Certificates (SACs), issued to private drone manufacturers—show for the first time who is authorized to fly drones in the United States.
- List of All Certificates of Authorizations (COAs) Issued to Public Entities
- List of All Special Airworthiness Certificates issued to Private Entities (manufacturers)
Currently, there are about 300 COAs and the FAA has issued over 700 since their program began in 2006, as the report indicates. In a letter to FAA administrator Michael Huerta, Congressmen Edward Markey (D, Massachusetts) and Joe Barton (R, Texas) expressed concerns related to privacy and that the public has a right to know about such activities.
The FAA is currently in the process of selecting six test cities that will be used to help set the policy of integrating Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System (NAS). The public is being asked to comment on the FAA's policy.
See also this previously published report from All Points Blog.