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There are nearly 500,000 commercial drones registered in the United States, far exceeding recent FAA projections. Fields like photography, agriculture, and public safety have adopted drone services and there are a few programs for long-distance services—like utility line inspection, surveying, and home delivery—popping up around the country.

Despite the rapid maturation of the technology, mass-market services are still years away in the United States in part because of difficult legal and policy questions raised in a recent GAO report to Congress: Should state or federal aviation officials regulate low-altitude drone services and operations? How do regulators encourage a healthy drone services industry while protecting residents’ property rights and privacy? Who will build and operate unmanned traffic management systems? This expert panel discussed these topics and more in a Lincoln Network Reboot Conversation co-sponsored by the Regulatory Transparency Project.


  • Reggie Govan, Former Chief Counsel, Federal Aviation Administration
  • Alexiaa Jordan, Innovation, Cyber, and National Security Analyst; Lincoln Network
  • Brent Skorup, Senior Research Fellow, Mercatus Center, George Mason University

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