The Federal Aviation Administration opened its consumer drone registry this week, a key step in tracking the increasingly popular technology. But as the regulator continues to craft rules for using drones, conflict has arisen over what role state and local governments should have in the process.
More states and cities have recently floated laws for using unmanned aerial systems, or UAS, irking some industry groups and big tech companies who say they complicate FAA regulatory authority. Amazon and Google, among others, have pushed for a quicker resolution of the FAA's rules on commercial use, seeking clearance to use drones for delivery.
As states and localities continue to weigh laws on UAS flight, questions linger about what power they have, and how it will shape airspace over communities moving forward.
"They now have to find an equilibrium between public safety, commercial utilization and privacy," said David Swindell, director of the Center for Urban Innovation at Arizona State University and a drone policy expert.