What to do about drones

Story highlights

  • The crash of a small drone on White House grounds made headlines recently
  • Mary "Missy" Cummings: FAA must outline clear regulations on drones

Mary "Missy" Cummings is an associate professor at Duke University and director of Duke's Humans and Autonomy Laboratory. She was one of the U.S. Navy's first female fighter pilots. The views expressed are her own.

(CNN)It's hardly surprising that the recent crash of an unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone, on the grounds of the White House has sparked debate about the future of the technology. But although this intrusion is the one that has made national headlines, it's far from the first over the past 12 months.

Last year, for example, the Federal Aviation Administration fined a man for crashing a drone in Manhattan, narrowly missing pedestrians. Also in 2014, the National Park Service banned the use of drones in parks. And in Washington, the FAA reported nearly 200 drones sighted near other aircraft or restricted buildings.