Beyond the most pressing issues — such as ensuring drones don’t collide with each other or get too close to planes and helicopters — are other, less obvious, concerns.
How much insurance drone operators will need, for example, is an open question.
“What type of bodily injury can they cause? Are they going to decapitate somebody or are they going to cause some stitches?” said Terry Miller, president of the aviation insurance company Transport Risk Management, said Wednesday. “We need to find out. Do we need $1 million of liability coverage or do we need $100 million of liability coverage? It all depends on the vehicle, and we’re relying on the industry and manufacturers to help teach us that.”
As those questions are sorted out, state officials and others wait for the inevitable day when drones transform the U.S. economy and fuel job creation.
“This is a rapidly emerging new industry whose applications are going to affect practically every major economic sector of Florida,” said Frank DiBello, president and CEO of Space Florida, the state’s aerospace economic development organization.