House To Hold Drone Hearing

December 7th, 2014

According to thehill.com: “The Aviation Subcommittee, chaired by U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), will hold a hearing next week on the status of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) integration into U.S. airspace and the development of the UAS industry,” the panel said in a statement about the hearing.

“While the United States has the technology and practical expertise to be the global leader in the UAS industry, many complex policy issues remain to be addressed,” the committee’s statement continued. “Moreover, there are growing signs that governments and entrepreneurs outside of the United States are making significant strides in this growing industry.  This hearing will focus on the state of the emerging UAS industry in the United States, including the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) ongoing efforts to safely integrate unmanned devices into the airspace, unresolved legal and public policy issues, and U.S. competitiveness.”

Also in an article in economist.com: “The right way to balance safety and innovation is to create a set of rules for commercial drones that depend on their size, use and so on. That is what happens in some countries: Canada, for instance, exempts small drones from regulatory oversight. The rules should also vary according to location, since surveying the outside of a building in a city is more hazardous than flying over a field. Japan recognises this. And requiring drone pilots to have experience flying manned aircraft is daft. Far better to say, as Britain and Australia do, that drone pilots need to be certified as competent to fly a drone.”

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12 Responses to “House To Hold Drone Hearing”

  • I just forwarded these two articles to my congressman and asked his assistance at theses meetings. It would be great if others would do the same.

  • @greg – Yes, I agree. It is very obvious that the FAA is not making appropriate progress on this issue. I don’t know what the reason is but it clearly needs to be fixed. The congress has the ability to get it fixed since they are the ones that chartered the FAA to create rule. As it stands, the FAA will NOT meet their Sept 2015 deadline.

  • Hi Larry

    Popped the Phantom Vision 2 + up yesterday…and guess what….independent of what I was doing it would seem the holding companies “measurement’d” were bloody accurate even here down – under!
    First time ever and because I was intent on taking the “photo” perhaps I wasn’t exactly “concentrating” on the height limit……then the screen flashes something about “height limit reached.”

    Seriosuly….this is what the world needs!

    I have to send off an email + I have to fax a paper copy to the local airport control tower for any proposed flight plan for my little beast. I am certainly ok with this and could not foresee any less stipulations than this.
    Seriously.
    Lets just hope it don’t get any more serious (haters would call it it draconian….I don’t!) than this because of “de-faulters.”

    On http://www.nelson.today tomorrow I show my latest examples of why this…in a particular real estate sense ….shows it …off to the buyer…like nothing else can. (Disclaimer – what I meant to say was “nothing else can for the price”…as in send up a Squirrel or R22 and sure you’ll get the same pic…….BUT for the same price?)

  • UPDATE:
    Just noticed I actually haven’t told (realized) my whole work-flow as it happens down under here in NZ.

    In NZ ….prior to Flight…I need to let ATC know at least 24hrs prior to launch….my intentions.

    Yup….some agents hate that…..BAD LUCK!

    To go with that…in the 5-10 minutes before I pop the drone up….I have to phone the control tower and ask them for final approval?

    If I get it for the next 5 – 10 minutes….then “good news” …..I’m ok to go.

    Then they need to know when its down…….So as soon as practical to pick up the mobile phone after landing I call them at the control tower and let them know my little beast is down on the ground.

    LET ME SAY – I have absolutely no probs with this …. I’m in there space now!

    At this stage I can see how with 5 – 10 requests a day..this could be (possibly..?) livable for an ATC person….perhaps not ideal…but perhaps acknowledgable.

    Any-hows Larry ….that what currently seems to work… in Nelson, New Zealand…for a conscientious operator here down under.

    As I am following the rules….I reckon I’ve got 3 months! No longer….!

  • Even though it is legal here in Idaho (with written consent from the property owner), good luck getting insurance. I called my agent (State Farm), and when I asked her about it, she kinda just laughed and said good luck with that (looking at liability insurance). She said no problem getting the drone insured (damages), but she said if there is anyone out there who would get you liability insurance, you’ll pay through the nose for it.

    Question, though. If the FAA gets off their collective butts and does something about this (says it’s legal with consent, licensing, etc.), would this change the insurance company policies?

  • The feeling I am getting from my friends who are both pilots and air traffic controllers is that in the end to fly them commercially it will require a commercial pilots license. If pilots are required to get this cert to fly for profit, then the pilots who fly the drones will be required to get it as well. This is going to limit the entry into this arena big time. This is also why I wont invest in a drone, it will be a useless brick if you cant fly it for profit legally without shelling out 10’s of thousands of dollars to get your commercial pilot certification.

  • I’d second the comment by Ian Lucas above. There was a news report here in the UK a couple of days back about someone flying one on the approaches to an airport. Fortunately the pilot saw it, but you could imaging the consequences if something like that got sucked into a jet engine, or smashed into the cockpit.

  • Wow… Ian’s article really illustrates their concern. A terrorist wouldn’t even have to board a plane or get through security, just launch a drone through the engine maybe, with an explosive payload. Yikes!

    So, then my thought is, since the electronics know when the drone is out of range, why couldn’t they force the installation of an elevation limiter (like a governor on a truck) so that certain class’s of drones couldn’t fly more then 200 feet high (well below the 400ft ceiling). The manufacture’s could be required to put it in the GPS firmware. Really, not too many Real Estate videos need to be higher then that. I’m betting they could even write the firmware so that it simply wouldn’t let a drone off the ground within a mile of an airport (or whatever the distance is). Let GPS force the rules.

  • @ kevin. The sudden concern over small quad copters like the Phantom baffles me. There have been radio controlled model aircraft and helicopters around almost as long as aircraft have been. Very large RC models have always been, and are today, perfectly legal and available to anyone that wants to purchase it. Yet if someone wants to take a photo from 75′ and charge it’s dangerous? The intent of congress is for the FAA to enact rules to “integrate UAV’s into the National Airspace System.” The FAA is to regulate large UAV’s that fly at 35,000 feet across the US, I don’t think congress ever intended for the FAA to get bogged down on chasing RC models. operators.

    The articles Larry referenced are very good common sense arguments for the use of models for commercial purposes.

  • Hate to be the merchant of doom on this, which I’m actually not, just don’t want to blow an investment. Here is the thinking https://uk.news.yahoo.com/video/u-navy-successfully-tests-laser-194847645.html?vp=1

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