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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(5), 459;

Review of the Current State of UAV Regulations

Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation ITC, University of Twente, Hengelosestraat 99, 7514 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
Faculty of Business and Law, Swinburne University of Technology, P.O. Box 218, Hawthorn VIC 3122, Australia
Institute of Geodesy and Photogrammetry, University of Baunschweig, Pockelsstraße 14, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Guoqing Zhou and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 17 February 2017 / Revised: 19 April 2017 / Accepted: 4 May 2017 / Published: 9 May 2017
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UAVs—unmanned aerial vehicles—facilitate data acquisition at temporal and spatial scales that still remain unachievable for traditional remote sensing platforms. However, current legal frameworks that regulate UAVs present significant barriers to research and development. To highlight the importance, impact, and diversity of UAV regulations, this paper provides an exploratory investigation of UAV regulations on the global scale. For this, the methodological approach consists of a research synthesis of UAV regulations, including a thorough literature review and a comparative analysis of national regulatory frameworks. Similarities and contrasting elements in the various national UAV regulations are explored including their statuses from the perspectives of past, present, and future trends. Since the early 2000s, countries have gradually established national legal frameworks. Although all UAV regulations have one common goal—minimizing the risks to other airspace users and to both people and property on the ground—the results reveal distinct variations in all the compared variables. Furthermore, besides the clear presence of legal frameworks, market forces such as industry design standards and reliable information about UAVs as public goods are expected to shape future developments. View Full-Text
Keywords: UAV; unmanned aerial vehicle; RPAS; regulation; comparative analysis; law and technology UAV; unmanned aerial vehicle; RPAS; regulation; comparative analysis; law and technology

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Stöcker, C.; Bennett, R.; Nex, F.; Gerke, M.; Zevenbergen, J. Review of the Current State of UAV Regulations. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 459.

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