In 2012, President Obama signed into law an aviation bill that will open American skies to drones over the next several years. Domestic unmanned aircraft have many uses that benefit society, including search and rescue, surveying, scientific research, and wildfire detection and monitoring. However, they also raise a host of complex policy issues.
In this highly interactive presentation, John Villasenor, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, will give an overview of unmanned aircraft technology and the current regulatory environment. He will also discuss some of the fundamental questions raised by the domestic use of drones, such as: What legal framework will protect the privacy of citizens when unmanned aircraft capture images from overhead? At what altitude does a property owner’s control over the airspace end and the government’s control start? What regulatory and technology solutions can ensure that manned and unmanned aircraft safely share the airspace?
A reception will follow the event. This Technology, Society and Public Policy lecture is co-sponsored by the Baker Institute Center for Energy Studies, Rice University’s Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology and Fondren Library.