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Drones…It’s Only A Matter of Time…

  • In Uncategorized
  • 20 August 2015

“DJI, the world’s leading seller of consumer drones, began programming such technology last year into all models sold in the United States. Brendan Schulman, the firm’s vice president of policy and legal affairs, said the software upgrade and public education efforts have proven effective. ‘The vast, vast majority of drone users are flying safely and responsibly,” he added. “The real issue is that there are a handful of outliers,’” https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/faa-records-detail-hundreds-of-close-calls-between-airplanes-and-drones/2015/08/20/5ef812ae-4737-11e5-846d-02792f854297_story.html

The real issues with consumer drones are (1) no FAA registration requirement; (2) no mode C transponder requirement in congested airspace; and (3) no requirement for the owner to carry insurance. When a midair collision between a drone and an airplane or helicopter does happen—and people die or are seriously injured in the resulting crash—how will the victims get compensation? A minimum insurance requirement coupled with a FAA registration requirement, which would subject the drone owner to penalties just as if he/she were a pilot, are necessary to bring safety back to our skies and mitigate all but certain future midair collisions.

By F. Phillip Peche, attorney at Bailey & Partners