The Policy, Regulation, and Innovation Landscape of Commercial Drones

Apr 07, 2016Apr 08, 2016
Rayburn House Office Building B339

Event Speakers

Eli Dourado

Former Senior Research Fellow

Will commercial drones, also known as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), lead the way on technological innovation and bring about new business models and practices on everything from the delivery of goods to security monitoring?  Would environmental monitoring, land surveying, and agri-businesses benefit from the use of drones and make it more economically feasible to utilize this new technology? Do drones promote economic well-being and new job creation?

If the prospect of drone technology is so promising for businesses and consumers, why hasn’t the technology been actively promoted?  Are there overarching concerns such as violations of property rights protection and privacy that have overshadowed the rapid deployment of this innovative technology?  How should policymakers respond to the critics yet promote innovation in drone technology?

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University invites you to join Eli Dourado, Director of the Technology Policy Program and Research Fellow and at the Mercatus Center, and Marc Scribner, Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, for a Capitol Hill Campus discussion of drones and federal regulations.

This program will explain:

  • What innovations drones can bring to the American economy;
  • The safety and consumer benefits at stake with drone technology;
  • How to interpret Federal Aviation Administration regulations on commercial drones; and
  • What Congress and the Federal Aviation Administration are, can, and could be doing to promote innovation in the American airspace.

Space is limited. Please register online for this event.

This educational discussion is planned in accordance with House Committee on Ethics’ exception for Educational Events and is open to all congressional and federal agency staff. Lunch will be provided. Please contact Jen Campbell with any dietary restrictions. Due to space constraints, please no interns.

Questions? Please contact Courtney Dunn at

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is the world's premier university source for market-oriented ideas—bridging the gap between academic ideas and real-world problems. From spending, to regulation, to health care, to cronyism, Mercatus scholars conduct research on a number of topics and produce a variety of products to be used by media and policymakers to connect academic learning with real-world practice.