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New York Times Article Summarizes Current State Of Commercial Drones

February 17th, 2012

NICK WINGFIELD  and SOMINI SENGUPTA of the New York Times just posted an article summarizing the current state of the commercial drone operation. It also summarizes another drone operator in the LA area shutdown by the LAPD.

“Daniel Gárate’s career came crashing to earth a few weeks ago. That’s when the Los Angeles Police Department warned local real estate agents not to hire photographers like Mr. Gárate, who was helping sell luxury property by using a drone to shoot sumptuous aerial movies. Flying drones for commercial purposes, the police said, violated federal aviation rules.”

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18 Responses to “New York Times Article Summarizes Current State Of Commercial Drones”

  • That was such a fluff piece. It says nothing about the actual rulings or effect on the industry. The comments on the NYT site were telling as well, people very concerned about privacy. However isn’t it already legal to “spy” for non-commercial purposes?

  • Believe it or not it was all over fox news as well. the ruling hasn’t been made yet, but it is on the way. Not really a fluff piece but a warning that now is the time to band together and make sure this doesn’t happen – last chance.

  • Glad to see this is not taking forever to figure out, I am anxious to get up in the air.

  • @Michael – There is nothing here to be optimistic about! Notice that this article simply confirms what I pointed out in the last two posts on this subjects… That is, real estate photographers are at at least out of business until perhaps 2015. And what it doesn’t say is you will effectively have to have a pilots license and only be able to fly in unpopulated areas.

    My prediction is it will be regulation prohibitive to do RE photography from a UAV from now on.

  • In Los Angeles, the mayor and chief pander to the power.

    A friend of mine works for LAPD and is familiar with this issue. She says that the ban has a lot more to do with preventing the paparazzi invading the stars privacy than anything else. Just like everything else, a few bad apples ruin it for the rest. She also brought up another issue that came up and that was the loss of control of the uav. They have ended up in estates where police have been called to settle confrontations between the estate and pilot.

    Bottom line, they can slap a “Homeland security issue” on just about anything these days and stop it. Just another chip out of our pillar of freedom

    JM

  • @ J Miller

    “Bottom line, they can slap a “Homeland security issue” on just about anything these days and stop it. Just another chip out of our pillar of freedom”

    Yes, they can and if you take a step back for a minute you should realize that this is a potential security issue…….a very big one at that.

    Before 9/11 did you ever think someone would hijack a plane and use it as a bomb to blow up the worlds tallest buildings?

    These drones could EASILY be flown into any area with enough explosives to level an entire block…..so I think that regulating how they are used is essential.

    The only mistake from what I have read (and i may be wrong) is that the average person can still just fly them for hobby….and that is just stupidity. The regulation needs to be for everyone, regardless if its a hobby or business.

    After losing 2 family members in the 9/11 attacks and hearing someone crying “Just another chip out of our pillar of freedom” makes me absolutely sick……..

  • @ Chris – banning commercial use would have no effect on that scenario; if someone wanted to use one as a bomb, they would just do it… do you really think that it being “against the law” would stop a terrorist? lol. It probably won’t even stop some photographers…

  • @ Casey

    Please read entire comment before posting……

    “The only mistake from what I have read (and i may be wrong) is that the average person can still just fly them for hobby….and that is just stupidity. The regulation needs to be for everyone, regardless if its a hobby or business.”

    Do you really think all the security at the airports will stop something like 9/11 from happening again? Probably not, they will always find a way to do what they want….. but it sure makes it alot harder.

    By regulating the flying of drones they do have some control over who does it, where as right now they have zero control…of course there never be full control.

    Going by your stupidity they might as well stop all the raised security at the airports too? Because as you state “if someone wanted to use one as a bomb, they would just do it… do you really think that it being “against the law” would stop a terrorist?”….

  • @ Chris – I did indeed read your whole post, and that quote has nothing to do with my point, so it changes nothing. Banning commercial use will not stop a terrorist, therefore neither will banning hobby use.

    “Going by your stupidity they might as well stop all the raised security at the airports too?”
    Making antagonistic, ad hominem attacks isn’t going to validate your argument, and the airport security comparison is a completely different and unrelated scenario. An airport is a somewhat controlled environment, with walls, gates, security, etc… UAV’s, on the other hand, can be flown anywhere, anytime, by anyone, completely unnoticed. Anyone can build one, no one is aware of them, not even law enforcement; I could launch one in my back yard and most likely no one would ever notice, and those that do happen to notice probably wouldn’t give it a second thought. Making it “against the law” will only have an effect on those who are willing to abide by the law.

  • @ Casey

    Hate to tell you but small airplanes or helicopters can be flown anywhere, anytime, by anyone, completely unnoticed as well my friend and can even be built from a kit….yet they make you get a license to maintain some sort of control over airspace. And im sure when you see small airplanes flying you dont think anything of it do you?

    So going by your logic should they stop forcing small airplane or helicopter users to get their license?….lol

    Oh, and by the way, this statement a classic : “Making it “against the law” will only have an effect on those who are willing to abide by the law.” Thanks for that one Captain Obvious!

  • Bottom line here is that pre 9/11 there is no question that the flying of drones for real estate (or any other commercial use) wouldnt have been an issue.

    Times have changed unfortunately.

  • @ Casey – First off, sorry to hear about your loss on 9/11.

    You stated “The only mistake from what I have read (and i may be wrong) is that the average person can still just fly them for hobby….and that is just stupidity. The regulation needs to be for everyone, regardless if its a hobby or business.”

    I could not agree with you more. Making exceptions for hobbiests is only creating a big loophole that will be exploited by many. In my opinion the only exceptions should be the military for military missions. After all the Air Force is using drones in the middle east. Even then, the military should have to notify all local authorities of their activities. I’m sure they are currently flying UAVs all over the country for training.

  • @ Suzanne: “Not really a fluff piece but a warning that now is the time to band together and make sure this doesn’t happen – last chance.”

    Are you serious? This should have happened a long time ago. Rather than trying to stop it, do what you can to make it go faster.

    I have to meet the Regs when I fly, you should, too.

  • @ everyone… We should license kites to, and every other toy… How about bats they launch missiles into the air and can cover a couple estates at the same time! This is rediculous! How about we create more fear to give more reason to spend money to defend ourselves.

  • crazy what you guys have going on over there!

  • USA land of the freedom. oh wait…

  • @Chris, (hope you’re feeling better after being “absolutely sick”, you really should take a deep breath) and the other like minded doomsday group, I did not serve, get my ass shot at, get wounded and lose friends so some good doer can force their rules on me because they are scared.
    The security at the airports is a joke, if you are not going to allow profiling, then why bother. You really think that grouping little children, making seniors take off their adult diapers, grabbing the crotch of people and all that is going to help?
    By your logic, anytime someone like you sees a potential threat, then take that right away.
    While I don’t see an issue with needing a permit to fly something like that over populated areas where they could have an accident, I do see a problem with some jerk taking it upon themselves to just ban all outright. Who the h… are they!
    You really want to be safe? Then push for profiling and run those scum into the ground.

  • @J Miller – Perfectly said.

    The aspect of this story that cracks me up the most is that it involves the LAPD/Los Angeles.
    I live adjacent to some VERY expensive coastal real estate. Yet a drive down to the local park will spot gang members, and just a little further down closer to the water it is easy to see the drug dealers on many corners. And I live in a ‘good’ part of LA.

    …Meanwhile, LAPD is bringing down drone pilots???!! How about we save effort on that ‘threat’ until I can drive safely through, let’s say, 25% of the city.

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