Driven by privacy concerns, a growing band of states and communities across the nation have restricted or proposed restraints on unmanned aerial vehicle flights even before the burgeoning industry has taken off, changes advocates say must be balanced against the enormous growth potential for the industry.
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UAVs mean business
The Federal Aviation Administration has a congressional mandate to integrate unmanned aerial vehicles into civilian-manned airspace by 2015. State legislatures and communities nationwide have taken action to enact or propose privacy laws out of concerns of drone surveillance. Some statistics related to drones:
30,000 - Number of UAVs the FAA predicts will take to the skies within 20 years.
327 - Number of active FAA authorizations to fly UAVs as of mid-February.
$82 billion - Estimated UAV market in the U.S. if drones are fully integrated into civilian airspace by 2025.
$2.1 billion -Estimated UAV market in Ohio if drones are fully integrated into civilian airspace by 2025.
100,000 plus - Estimated number of new U.S. jobs in UAV industry by 2025.
2,700 - Estimated number of new Ohio jobs in UAV industry by 2025.
Ohio bills restricting the use of drones
- House bill 207 (Lead sponsor Rep. Rex Damschroder, R-Fremont)
Forbids any law enforcement agency or anyone acting on behalf of law enforcement from using a drone to obtain evidence or any other information without a search warrant. Would also prevent information collected through the use of a drone from being used as evidence in a trial, hearing or other proceeding before a court if obtained without a warrant.
- Senate bill 189 (Lead sponsor Sen. Kris Jordan, R-Ostrander)
Severely restricts a government agency’s acquisition and use of a drone for surveillance purposes and bans the arming of drones with weapons.