Drones: The Next Generation of Commerce?

Full Committee on Oversight and Reform
Full Committee on Oversight and Reform
Hearing Date: June 17, 2015 9:00 am 2154 Rayburn HOB


  • To discuss the challenges and economic impact of regulating emerging technology for personal and commercial uses, as well as the privacy concerns inherent with the proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicles, referred to as “drones.”



  • On February 15, 2015 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a proposed rule on the commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
  • The FAA proposed limiting the size, speed, and range of the drones; testing, certification, and vetting requirements for drone operators; and air space restrictions around airports, among other things.
  • To streamline application of this technology, the agency established an interim policy for certain UAS operators who obtain exemptions until the FAA develops the final rule.
  • Under the interim policy, the FAA will grant a Certificate of Waiver of Authorization (COA) for flights at or below 200 feet to any UAS operator with this exemption for aircraft and operations that meet the other criteria set forth in the proposed rule. The blanket 200-foot COA allows flights anywhere in the country except restricted airspace and other areas, such as major cities, where the FAA prohibits UAS operations.

Witnesses and testimonies

Name Title Organization Panel Document
Michael Whitaker Deputy Administrator Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation Document
John Cavolowsky, Ph.D. Director of the Airspace Systems Program Office National Aeronautics and Space Administration Document
Brian Wynne President & CEO Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Document
Paul E. Misener Vice President of Global Public Policy Amazon, Inc. Document
Harley Geiger Advocacy Director and Senior Counsel Center for Democracy and Technology Document

Related Documents

Name Document
Chairman Chaffetz Opening Statement Document
Transcript Document