The FAA's upcoming drone rules could all but eliminate commercial use

By Shawn Knight · 14 replies
Nov 24, 2014
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  1. The Federal Aviation Administration is set to release long-awaited rules for commercial drone use by the end of the year. Those rules, however, may end up being terribly restrictive if a new report from The Wall Street Journal pans out.

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  2. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    "What’s more, the restrictions could require the drone operator to have a pilot’s license awarded only after completing dozens of hours flying manned aircraft." This one rule could put an end to the industry in the US, I'm not apposed to the idea of requiring a license to use a drone in a densely populated area but that would be completely ridiculous to have to complete manned aircraft training. People have been using model helicopters in the same airspace without issue for years, would they need to hold a helicopter license if the such a law is passed? I'd say I was glad to live in Canada, but the laws passed in the US often make it north of the border. It's actually amazing that a toy used by children can require a pilots license, what's next, drivers licenses for all RC vehicles. Go USA, land of the Free...
    cliffordcooley and JakeT like this.
  3. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,423   +350

    I think the logic behind it is like this "If you can pilot a Jet you have the skills & knowledge to drive a tank and pilot a tiny remote controlled RC helicopter."

    "If you can shoot a gun you can pilot a F22"
  4. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,869   +1,288

    I hope these stupid things are banned for casual use and heavily restricted for commercial purposes. Their nothing but a hazard to air traffic and a threat to our privacy. Their also becoming a favorite tool for terrorists. No private citizen needs a self-righting, remotely operated spy cam with autopilot.
  5. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    You lost me with this point. A private citizen should be able to own whatever he pleases so long as he doesn't use it in a manner such that another person's rights are violated.
  6. Pinkie Pie

    Pinkie Pie TS Booster Posts: 70   +30

    I just wish we could stop calling toy RC helicopters "drones".
    Adhmuz likes this.
  7. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,681   +1,080

    They lost me at "stupid things"
  8. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    IMO they are pretty unintelligent. I tried to explain the Allegory of the Cave to one of the featured units in a coffee shop one time. It just sat there and buzzed, blank-faced. Naturally, I immediately asked if it had even read Plato. Bastard leapt from the table and flew off.

    I don't mean to stereotype drones, but that was a very illuminating experience.
    stewi0001 likes this.
  9. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,306   +1,400

    Drones are annoying as hell, I don't have a problem with them being banned altogether.
  10. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,325   +1,974

    I have to agree with yRaz .... we did just fine without them; I certainly would not miss them at all ....
  11. Ban cars while you're at it, smelly, noisy, responsible for untold horrifying death, a terrorist favorite especially those Toyota pick-up.
  12. Macgyver56

    Macgyver56 TS Enthusiast Posts: 25   +6

    " ... the restrictions COULD require the drone operator to have a pilot's license awarded only after completing dozens of hours flying manned aircraft." That's a maybe, it's vague, and no one knows what the rule actually says. This is the FAA we're reading about. An FAA regulation is often three pages long with fourteen subparagraphs and sixteen qualifiers. Some drones are the size of a 4-seat aircraft. If that's the sort of drone the piloting rule applies to, personally I'd like the operator to have some experience keeping it safely in the air.

    RC aircraft are required to remained below or outside "controlled airspace" where manned aircraft are operating. At this time, there are no such restrictions on drones. There have already been some close calls between commercial aircraft and drones. A 20 lb goose can bring down an Airbus. Think what a collision with a 40-50 lb chunk of metal could do to regional jet carrying 80 people. There need to be restrictions. The restrictions will undoubtedly vary depending on whether the drone is operating in congested airspace such as the New York metro area where every altitude from the ground up is already reserved for manned aircraft, or over uninhabited, wide open spaces.

    Operating a drone over a field a rural, deserted Montana isn't the issue. It's having one zooming along, untended and unmonitored, at 2000 feet in the final approach corridor for Boston or Los Angeles that the regulations are *probably* going to address. And the idea of having an unmonitored drone with four rotors -- like the one shown in this article -- suffering a mechanical failure and dropping into an elementary school yard during recess gives me nightmares. There need to be SOME restrictions on drones.
    cliffordcooley, stewi0001 and Arris like this.
  13. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,887   +1,223

    Did you see a construction worker was killed by a falling tape measure ?( We know how dangerous a few ounces of falling metal can be.

    The point is, yes, there need to be restrictions. Although, it would be a bummer if they get in the way of what could be some very cool technological advancements. As battery tech gets better, drones could become very capable. Hopefully we can find a middle ground to protect people: a simple vertical fin to align a falling drone coupled with an airbag or chute, and maybe they can use GPS to stay over roads most of the time.

    I just hope they don't overreact and end up restricting it so far that it's useless.
  14. JakeT

    JakeT TS Member Posts: 74   +20

    THEY'RE planning to fly THEIR drones over THERE.
  15. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,072   +219

    Yeah! Why can't I buy a crate of tnt at walmart? Or anthrax? Or 100 lions? I promise I am responsible and wont mismanage any of these items.

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