The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) is starting to take seriously the business of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (American English for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles - UAVs - or drones).
Firstly, they’ve come to the realization that there would be total confusion if each and every state had its own and confliction rules on who could fly what and where, and so they are making it clear that they, the FAA, decide what the laws around Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) should be. It’ll be interesting to see if anyone challenges them on this – some states may have been looking forward to generating some income from licensing and other relevant permissions.
Secondly, all hobbyist non-commercial owners of UAS weighing between 0.55 pounds (250 grams) and 55 pounds (approx. 25 kilograms) including payloads such as on-board cameras will have to register their machines with the FAA. For existing owners, this must be done by February 19th 2016. That should put a strain on their website.
And anybody purchasing a UAS as a model after 21st December 2015 must register each craft before the first test flight – lots of disappointed owners on Christmas day, most likely.
Furthermore, all UAS whether owned by hobbyists or non-hobbyists must now also carry identifiable markings which will need to be included in the registration process.
Are these regulatory moves the sort of thing that the CAA will pick up on?
As a serious commercial UAV or drone business, Lunar Aerial Imaging welcomes any restraints that protect the integrity of our industry. But can legislation go too far?
We’d love feedback on this.