Due to the relatively recent preponderance of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) the danger of aerial collisions has increased.
A bill has been introduced in Congress to prevent these occurrences. The bill, the Federal Aviation Administration re-authorization bill is under consideration in the Senate.
The bill contains strict regulations for commercial and hobby drones. This type of regulation is way over due.
Safety standards would comprise one aspect of the bill. One goal for the legislation is to keep drones from flying into restricted airspace. This capability called geo-fencing is being included in some models of UAV’s.
Another aspect of the legislation would require owners and operators of UAV’s to be identified by the government.
One UAV was found to be flying at 5000 feet while regulations state that they are not supposed to fly over 400 feet. Many UAV’s are reported to fly close to airplanes.
UAV’s are supposed to be registered but not many of them are. For that reason they cannot be identified.
A stricter registration process will have to be put into place. Regulation of the industry is necessary.
Approximately 7 million UAV’s will have been sold in the US by 2020.
The UAV market exploded overnight. The dangers of the proliferation of the UAV market are manifold. They have been discovered in dangerous restricted areas.
The bill provides for federal regulation of the UAV preventing conflicts between state and local legislation. There should be however some room for state and local control.
The legislation would regulate manufacturing, safety standards, and the use of air space.
The implications of the broader use of UAV’s in the future is unknown. These implications include the many potential uses of the UAV’s and the potential risk factors involved in using them.
The use of UAV’s is anticipated to include the delivery of consumer products, among other uses, in the future. It is possible that cities and localities will provide for UAV thoroughfares and pathways.
The Consumer Drone Safety Act sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) helped in the development of the legislation.
Interest is in limiting federal control and giving some control to states and localities in the regulation of the UAV’s.
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