Drone technology has many applications and it's creating an industry that's here to stay, but there are downsides. So far, no commercial airliner has been struck by an unmanned drone, but 650 pilots have reported drones near their flight paths — just this year. In the West, drones have interfered with aerial firefighting, and they've injured people on the streets of Seattle, Albuquerque, Tucson and Tampa. The FAA has only started to regulate commercial drones, and there are almost no rules for hobby drones, which are cheap to buy and easy to fly. Now, some states may be stepping in where Congress has failed to take action.
Here at KCRW in Santa Monica, we've been experimenting with DJI Phantom 2. You can check out our reporting on commercial drones, including their use for news coverage, at KCRW.com/drones.