Early in the morning of Monday, January 26, a small recreational drone crashed onto the lawn of the White House. The media and security/military response was instant and, predictably, fraught.

In fact, it’s hard to think of an event that better illustrates the major issues – legal, technical, financial, policy- and behavior-related – that collide in the context of commercial drone use.

The awkward reality is that – outside of just under two hundred mostly large companies with official FAA exemptions – nearly every commercial application of UAV tech in the US is currently illegal. Early adopters, makers and entrepreneurs generally scoff at the practical implications of this, noting among other things the FAA’s lack of enforcement capabilities.

Still, the mismatch between a set-in-its ways federal agency and the huge operational benefits and cost advantages in deploying drones across multiple business lines looks a lot like a crisis in the making – especially since much of the most visible commercial-drone-related innovation is happening at the small-and-medium-sized business level.

FTI believes that there is a significant leadership opportunity for companies in this space to define a set of best practices that will not only serve to guide users, but establish a set of drone policy standards ahead of the FAA’s formulation of a regulatory environment – thus helping to inform and shape it. That conversation starts here.

Current Insights

October 6, 2015
drone pumpkin

Skytek series: drone legislation, research, data, science and safety

Drones continue to entice and intrigue not only individual hobbyists, but legitimate businesses and industries too. As more and more look to drones as a technological […]
September 21, 2015

SkyTek Series: Droning on about safety

As drones proliferate across our skies, FTI continues to set its sights on the world of drone-related business and policy. Today, we take a look at […]
August 7, 2015
Drone safety security

SkyTek Series: Drone public safety and security risk news

As FTI continues to hone in on the world of drone-related business and policy, we’ve cherry picked some interesting snapshots from the previous week with our […]
July 27, 2015

SkyTek Series: Regulating U.S. Drone Risk [Regulatory News]

As FTI continues to hone in on the world of drone-related business and policy, we’ve cherry picked some interesting snapshots from the previous week with our […]
July 25, 2015

SkyTek Series: Mitigating Drone Risk [Industry News]

As FTI continues to hone in on the world of drone-related business and policy, we’ve cherry picked some interesting snapshots from the previous week with our […]
July 24, 2015
flirtey drone delivery flight

First drone delivery of medical supplies made in the US

This week, drone delivery in the US took another step forward, with a Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) approved drone making its first US government-sanctioned delivery of […]
July 18, 2015
drone industry commerce

SkyTek Series: Drone News | Corporate and Industry Snapshot

As FTI continues to hone in on the world of drone-related business and policy, we’ve cherry picked some interesting industry and commercial snapshots from the previous […]
July 17, 2015
drone regulatory snapshots

SkyTek Series: Drone News | Regulatory Snapshots, U.S.

As FTI continues to hone in on the world of drone-related business and policy, we’ve cherry picked some interesting snapshots from the previous week with our […]
June 23, 2015
skytek drone regulation snapshot

SkyTek Series: Drone News | Corporate and Regulatory Snapshots

As FTI continues to hone in on the world of drone-related business and policy, we’ve cherry picked some interesting snapshots from the previous week with our […]
June 22, 2015

Single European Sky Policy to Include Drones with Regulation Pending

One sky to rule them all Europe’s member states are pulling together to make the case for a common European policy environment for drones. The European […]