Some drone marketing firms hope to expand the role of drones by allowing these craft to transport packages (or even passengers) through urban areas. On Sunday, a press release reported Ira Brodsky, a marketing consultant, had published a paper contending the FAA poses a barrier to the expansion of the use of drones in some situations. The publication, A Roadmap For Drone Market Growth, 2017-2025, urged Congress to invest states with the authority to regulate drone use.
An FAA Regulatory Framework
The Federal Aviation Authority (“the FAA”) has promulgated detailed regulations for commercial drone operators to follow in order to promote safe air travel for air passengers and pilots. Regulators seek to balance the needs of the aviation industry with those of a growing number of drone enthusiasts. The federal agency launched a formal process for licensing commercial drone operators last year.
The FAA’s rules prohibit pilots from flying drones within restricted air space (including restricted air space around airports). Drones can’t fly over people and occupied vehicles without specific advanced permission. These rules apply uniformly across the United States.
Concern Surrounding Airplane And Drone Collisions
Regulators worldwide have expressed concern about the dangers of drone collisions with aircraft. These warnings have coincided with some chilling near “misses” between commercial aircraft and illegally operated drones. Last year, British newspapers reported two incidents in which illegally operated drones had ventured uncomfortably close to jetliners.
During October, 2016, a drone flew perilously close to a passenger plane preparing to land at busy Heathrow Airport. In another case, a pilot whose plane had just taken off from that airport narrowly avoided a collision with a drone traveling through restricted air space overhead. These types of incidents testify to the importance of restrictions barring unmanned aerial vehicles from aircraft flight lanes.
An Historic Explosion in Drone Use
Earlier this month, the Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation Secretary recognized the significant increase in drones numbers across the United States. Elaine Chao addressed an influential consumer electronics trade meeting, the CES. She revealed the FAA has now registered over a million private and commercial drones.
Unmanned aerial craft numbers exploded in the USA during the past two years. Air space allocations between manned and unmanned aircraft will likely remain important during the near future. Innovations in drone technology hold importance for the aviation industry.