Project Wing test flight In the Outback
Project Wing test flight In the Outback

“The regulators are willing to have that conversation…”

Dave Vos, the project lead of Google’s experimental drone delivery program, Project Wing, says that the federal government has made more progress regulating drones by working with companies than it has in the last two decades.

He was pleased with the FAA’s basic rules, saying that, “Basically, there are no barriers” between the two sides. “The regulators are willing to have that conversation,” Vos said.

Vos said that he was part of a government appointed task force that helped create drone registration rules in the fall for hobbyists. Although the group included many different groups like drone companies, law enforcement, and consumer electronics makers, it was able to come up with guidelines in three days.

“In three days, we converged on what I think is a great step forward,” Vos said. “Ten years is dead,” he explained about how slowly the government moved previously in creating drone regulations.

“Make the regulators compete with each other…”

Still, Vos emphasized that the FAA is not the world’s only drone regulator. A number of other countries like Canada and the Netherlands have rules that are more lax by comparison. He said that he wants to “make the regulators compete with each other.”

These regulators play an important rule in jumpstarting the worldwide drone industry, and if one country is perceived as more lenient than another, businesses can use that as leverage to convince that another country’s regulator to ease up.

“I have a super relationship with the U.S.,” said Vos. “That said, I talk with everyone else as well.”

If you always wanted to know what it’s like to be an 800-pound gorilla, just think about making regulators from different countries compete for economic favors.
And while I don’t think that anyone should be very proud of the hamburger registration rule, I do love the idea that ten years is dead…



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