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FAA – W-a-a-y Behind The Power Curve on Drone Regulations

  • In Uncategorized
  • 9 October 2015
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Here are the known facts:  Multiple industry sources confirm estimates that over 1 million drones will be in the hands of drone flyers by December 2015.  The FAA has already cited Sky Pan of Chicago with a $1.9 million penalty for alleged illegal commercial drone flights.  The FAA states that the number of pilot reports of airborne drone sightings has already exceeded 650 sightings this year – and currently – the FAA is receiving more than 100 drone reports per month.  In spite of this dramatic surge in drone activity – the FAA has announced that it will not be ready to address drone regulations until June 17, 2016.

Recipe for Disaster?  Obviously, the production and sales of drones has sky rocketed, while regulatory protections haven’t even struggled off the ground.   Let’s put this into context:  Imagine if the drones were actually very small airplanes, only big enough for one small to medium sized adult to squeeze into.  Now imagine if that ‘small to medium sized adult’ were allowed to climb in and fly…with no training, no license, no electronic beacon that would reveal his or her location and altitude, and imagine if those adult sized “drones” were already flying directly into the path of commercial aircraft filled with passengers.  Well imagine no further.  Because it’s already happening…and with great increasing frequency.

So what does all this mean?  Do the math.  We’re in October 2015.  The FAA reports that the drone conflicts and complaints are already climbing past 100 per month.  If the FAA needs another eight months to make the drone regulations complete and enforceable, what are the odds that an aircraft full of passengers won’t collide with a drone?  Would you take that bet?  Neither would we.  Tell your congressional representative to take a stand against the FAA’s dangerous, eight month estimate.  The time for emergency legislation by the FAA is now.  Don’t let the FAA wait for the body count.

By Patrick Bailey, Bailey & Partners