FAA Releases List of Every Organization Currently Flying Drones in the US


After months of stalling, the Federal Aviation Administration has at last released an updated list of the organizations that have approval to fly drones in US airspace—and which are currently seeking it. New approvals include the ATF and the Army Corps of Engineers, Michigan State Police, local cops in Mobile and Daytona Beach, and the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District.

The FAA is in no hurry to let the public know which police departments, universities and other government agencies have applied for drone waivers, much less which have received them. It took a lawsuit in April 2011 to get the first list released to the public at all, and the FAA hasn’t released an updated version since January 2013.

On September 2, ten months after we submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for the list, the FAA at last mailed us a photocopied-but-unredacted printout. At thirty-four pages long, this list includes each of the 935 drone waiver applications—more precisely, a “Certificate of Waiver or Authorization” or “COA”—that were completed between November 1, 2012 and June 19, 2014.

Three weeks later, we received the electronic copy of the spreadsheet, which federal law requires the FAA to provide. On this list is every organization that is currently (legally) flying drones in the US.

Continue to motherboard.vice.com to see the list.

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