January 2nd, 2015
Everyone, except some commercial pilots, think that the FAA has been too slow to take action on proposing long-awaited rules for commercial drone operations. It is well known that the FAA will not make their September 2015 deadline for regulations.
According to a recent article over at the HuffingtonPost.com:
Every year the ban (of commercial drones) remains in place, the United States loses more than $10 billion in potential economic benefits that drones could provide, according to the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, a trade group…
“We need some sort of process that allows some of the low-risk operations,” said Jesse Kallman, the head of regulatory affairs for Airware, a drone technology company backed by Google Ventures. “I think Congress understands that, and hopefully they’ll take steps in the coming year to address that.”
That appears to be what some key lawmakers have in mind. “We in Congress are very interested in UAS,” Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said at a hearing this month, referring to unmanned aerial systems, or drones. “We understand UAS are an exciting technology with the potential to transform parts of our economy. … It is our responsibility to take a close look.”
On the other hand, the point of view of the many airline pilots is expressed by 737 Captain Ben Berman:
As a (Boeing) 737 captain, I’ll be damned if myself and 178 other people are taken down by a 12-pound or a 50-pound or a 150-pound piece of metal coming through my windshield,” said Ben Berman at a recent forum hosted by the Air Line Pilots Association. “There are too many near misses occurring every day like this.”
It’s a tough job taking care of this issue to the satisfaction of everyone, but it is important that the US make significant, meaningful progress on this issue soon (as in 2015) or the current chaos will just escalate! The FAA is not providing good leadership, let’s hope someone stands up and exerts some leadership on this issue!