Today, Eli Dourado, Ryan Hagemann and I filed comments with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in its proceeding on the “Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems” (i.e. small private drones). In this filing, we begin by arguing that just as “permissionless innovation” has been the primary driver of entrepreneurialism and economic growth in many sectors of the economy over the past decade, that same model can and should guide policy decisions in other sectors, including the nation’s airspace. “While safety-related considerations can merit some precautionary policies,” we argue, “it is important that those regulations leave ample space for unpredictable innovation opportunities.”
We continue on in our filing to note that “while the FAA’s NPRM is accompanied by a regulatory evaluation that includes benefit-cost analysis, the analysis does not meet the standard required by Executive Order 12866. In particular, it fails to consider all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives.” After that, we itemize the good and the bad of the FAA propose with an eye toward how the agency can maximize innovation opportunities. We conclude by noting:
The FAA must carefully consider the potential effect of UASs on the US economy. If it does not, innovation and technological advancement in the commercial UAS space will find a home elsewhere in the world. Many of the most innovative UAS advances are already happening abroad, not in the United States. If the United States is to be a leader in the development of UAS technologies, the FAA must open the American skies to innovation.
You can read our entire 9-page filing here.
- Permissionless Innovation & Commercial Drones, February 4, 2015.
- DRM for Drones Will Fail, January 28, 2015.
- Regulatory Capture: FAA and Commercial Drones Edition, January 16, 2015.
- Global Innovation Arbitrage: Commercial Drones & Sharing Economy Edition, December 9, 2014.
- How to Destroy American Innovation: The FAA & Commercial Drones, October 6, 2014.
- Filing to FAA on Drones & “Model Aircraft”, Sept. 23, 2014.
- Private Drones & the First Amendment, Sept. 19, 2014.
- [TV interview] The Beneficial Uses of Private Drones, March 28, 2014.
- Comments of the Mercatus Center to the FAA on integration of drones into the nation’s airspace, April 23, 2o13.
- Eli Dourado, Deregulate the Skies: Why We Can’t Afford to Fear Drones, Wired, April 23, 2013.
- Permissionless Innovation: The Continuing Case for Comprehensive Technological Freedom (2014).
- [Video] Cap Hill Briefing on Emerging Tech Policy Issues (June 2014).