Unmanned Aircraft Systems: FAA Should Improve Drone-Related Cost Information and Consider Options to Recover Costs, Report to Congressional Committees [open pdf - 2MB]
From the GAO [Government Accountability Office] Highlights: "UAS [unmanned aircraft systems] have the potential to provide significant social and economic benefits in the United States. FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] is tasked with safely integrating UAS into the national airspace. As the UAS sector grows, so do demands on FAA's staffing and other resources to develop, oversee, and enforce rules and systems needed to safely integrate UAS into the national airspace. The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 provides for GAO to review issues related to establishing fee mechanisms for FAA to recover its costs related to UAS. This report discusses, among other things, 1) FAA efforts to track the costs of current and planned activities related to UAS and 2) key considerations and options for designing user fee mechanisms that could recover FAA's costs. GAO reviewed FAA documents and financial data for fiscal years 2017 through 2019 and industry reports on drone integration funding. GAO interviewed a non-generalizable sample of 22 UAS industry stakeholders, selected based on participation in FAA advisory groups or prior GAO knowledge to achieve a range of perspectives. GAO reviewed its guidance on designing effective fee mechanisms and OMB instructions to agencies about implementing user fees."
Government Accountability Office: https://www.gao.gov/