Promoting Economic Competitiveness While Safeguarding Privacy, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties in Domestic Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems [open pdf - 90KB]
This is a "Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies" on the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the United States written by President Barack Obama. From the document: "UAS technology continues to improve rapidly, and increasingly UAS are able to perform a variety of missions with greater operational flexibility and at a lower cost than comparable manned aircraft. A wide spectrum of domestic users -- including industry, private citizens, and Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial governments -- are using or expect to use these systems, which may play a transformative role in fields as diverse as urban infrastructure management, farming, public safety, coastal security, military training, search and rescue, and disaster response. The Congress recognized the potential wide-ranging benefits of UAS operations within the United States in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-95), which requires a plan to safely integrate civil UAS into the National Airspace System (NAS) by September 30, 2015. As compared to manned aircraft, UAS may provide lower-cost operation and augment existing capabilities while reducing risks to human life. Estimates suggest the positive economic impact to U.S. industry of the integration of UAS into the NAS could be substantial and likely will grow for the foreseeable future. As UAS are integrated into the NAS, the Federal Government will take steps to ensure that the integration takes into account not only our economic competitiveness and public safety, but also the privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties concerns these systems may raise."
White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov