The FAA estimates that as many as 7,500 commercial unmanned aircraft may be in operation by 2018 provided that necessary regulations are in place. In a document posted to its website, the agency set out to “bust myths” about the FAA and unmanned aircraft systems and said speculation that 30,000 would be in operation in a few years was “outdated.”
The agency is attempting a measured approach to integrating UAS into the national airspace (it recently announced five projects around the country to test it out) but may be feeling the need to reign in early adopters.
Among the myths it sought out to debunk: the FAA does not control airspace below 400 feet (it does), commercial UAS usage is OK over privately held land if following model aircraft guidelines (it’s not), and, there are too many commercial UAS operations for the FAA to stop.
On this last point the FAA said it must “prioritize its safety responsibilities” and that when it does learn of a violation, enforcement actions include: “a verbal warning, a warning letter, and an order to stop the operation.”