Facts About Drones (Infographic)

Timeline and facts about unmanned drones.
Unmanned aerial vehicles have been increasingly popular in recent years. (Image credit: by Ross Toro, Infographics Artist)

FAA estimates that as many as 7,500 small commercial drones could be operational within five years in U.S. airspace.

In 2007, FAA issued a policy statement prohibiting the use of drones for commercial purposes

In 2011, FAA fined Raphael Pirker $10,000 for operating a drone for commercial purposes without a license.

In 2012, Congress passed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act, which funds the FAA through 2015, and also encouraged the integration of drones in U.S. airspace.

In November, 2013, the FAA released its integration road map, a 72-page plan outlining how the agency will safely integrate unmanned aircraft into the airspace.

On Dec. 1, 2013, Amazon announced its intention to explore package delivery via drones.

On March 6, 2014, a judge ruled in favor of Pirker and dismissed the FAA's fine.


On March 7, 2014, the FAA appealed the decision in the Huerta v. Pirker civil penalty case.


On April 21, 2014, the FAA announced the first drone test site operational in North Dakota.


There are 4,000 different unmanned aerial vehicles in circulation on the global market, most built by the United States. 

manufacturers, according to an IHS Industry Research and Analysis report. The United States spends more than half of the total research and development money spent worldwide on drone development.

Ross Toro
Infographics Artist
Ross Toro is a contributing infographic artist for Live Science. He specializes in explanatory graphics that deal with science topics. Ross is a former art director of the Los Angeles Times, Associated Press and United Press International. He teaches Filipino martial arts when not dabbling in cartoons and animation.