If you fly a drone as a recreational pilot in the U.S., here’s some good news. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced that it’s now granting you a near-instant authorization to fly in controlled airspace. The expanded Low Altitude Authorization and Capability (LAANC) system will allow recreational drone pilots to fly around approximately 600 airports.
In most countries, it’s illegal to drink and drive. But in Japan, it has now been proclaimed illegal to fly a drone while drunk. A new law has banned drunk droning, and the offenders could end up in prison for up to one year.
Drones have been a gamechanger in the world of photography. With these flying cameras, now everyone can create pro-level footage and video. Unfortunately, there are also a few bad apples who like to use them for shady purposes. Now Department of Homeland Security wants to impose even stricter regulations on drones. So how exactly will this affect law-abiding drone enthusiasts and professionals?
At least, it will in New Jersey. The State legislators have just approved a ban on operating drones while intoxicated. When signed into law, the bill will punish pilots who are drunk or otherwise inebriated with up to six months in prison or a $1,000 fine. The vote went through 39-0 in the State Senate and 65-0 in the State Assembly.
It’s not clear exactly when the bill will go into law, but as drone usage rises daily, it sends a pretty clear message. While there is a minimum size requirement for FAA drone registration, there doesn’t appear to be one for this ban. It does state that it will use the standard 0.08 blood alcohol level as being too drunk to fly.
Starting from 2018, drone laws in the UK could become a lot stricter. The new draft legislation proposes that all drones weighing over 250g are banned from flying near airports or above 400ft altitude. Additionally, the users may be required to take a safety awareness test if they want to operate their drone. As BBC reports, the new proposals are a response to a growing number of incidents involving airplanes and drones. In addition, the new legislation should reduce the use of drones for criminal activity.
Flying a drone requires knowing the laws. If you travel with the drone, you need to get familiar with the laws of the country you’re visiting. To make this easier, foXnoMad has created a map that shows you the drone laws of every country in the world. It can be a really handy tool for all to you who want to get the aerial view of the places you’re visiting.
It may have recently been tested and defeated in the American courts, but drone registration is coming to the UK. The government have announced plans to introduce the registration along with “safety awareness courses” for owners of SUAs (Small Unmanned Aircraft). This registration, they say, will be required for anything weighing more than 250g (~8oz).
The BBC report that DJI have weighed in and are in favour of these measures. They have not announced a timeframe, nor plans on exactly how the rules will be enforced. The Department of Transport told the BBC that “the nuts and bolts still have to be ironed out”.
I hold a private pilot certificate, as well as a remote pilot certificate; I am also a photographer. I just wanted to share with you some advice from a budding pilot who comes from the much larger world of flying that is general aviation. I hope this helps you understand basic components of what us normal pilots deal with, while also helping you understand how we operate and how to avoid us. Understanding is critical to safety in many instances.
This is not intended to be a know all be all to flying drones in the States. Most of this information is supplemental, and, again, is intended to help you understand how airspace works, and to help you find what you are looking for. As with anything else, do your own research.
First reported by Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, the country’s highest court ruled on Friday that it is now illegal to fly drones with attached cameras in public places as they qualify as surveillance cameras. It’s a huge blow to Sweden’s hobbyist drone community.
Hobbyists in Sweden are understandably upset, and the initial reactions are about as would be expected. Now, to fly a drone on public land would require a CCTV permit as if you were monitoring a camera mounted on a pole in a city centre. You’ll need one of these permits each time you wanted to go out. Each permit comes with a cost and no guarantee of it being granted.