A drone pilot from Philadelphia recently earned a massive $182,000 fine from the FAA. He allegedly broke multiple regulations over 26 separate flights over the course of only one year. Drone attorney Jonathan Rupprecht has analyzed the case and explains how it is even possible for the FAA to know when and how you’ve broken the rules.
The new year brings us new drone regulations across Europe. From 31 December 2020, they are going to be effective across all EU countries, plus Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and the UK. DJI has issued a statement regarding the new rules and invited all users to “embrace them.”
On January 27th, the British parliament heard and debated a bill (for the second time) which gives police and prison authorities more powers to be able to deal with what they see as problem drones. Officially, this means drones that they believe are posing a public safety risk or are flying illegally.
The bill is aimed at those flying around no-fly zones, flying too close to people and buildings and illegal commercial operations. The prison system will also likely welcome the new power, as it will help them to minimise drone-delivered contraband.
With drone photography, things right now are very fast-paced, both in the development of the tech and the implementation of the rules. There’s a lot I can tell you about drone photography. Overarching all of the creative elements the single, most important piece of advice I can give you is this:
Make sure you know the local drone laws, wherever you are and wherever you’re going!
As I mentioned, there’s a lot I can teach about drone photography, I’ve written a lot about it and I have a course live on KelbyOne all about it right now. The appeal of drone photography is huge. It’s been maximized by DJI, who are now the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer (true story) and camera manufacturer. Others such as Parrot and Yuneec are also cashing in on us photographers and our constant quest for new angles.
These new angles are the big appeal, and rightly so. Creatives have it embedded within them. Since our childhood, we have been scoping out birds-eye views. Think about it for a second, when we’re on a plane and we come into land we often stare out of the windows looking for a point of reference in order to see what is familiar to us from a new perspective, such as searching for our home or our favorite stadium, or simply a city skyline. Drones are here to stay. The rules are being implemented and enacted for everybody’s protection. But what does that actually mean for photographers?
Transport Canada recently introduced new rules for recreational drone users that could land you with fines up to $5,000. One of YouTube’s most popular Canadians, Peter McKinnon talks with drone pilot friend, Gabriel in this video about the new regulations that have come into force, and what it means for Canadian drone pilots.
When flying a drone, you must know what your limitations are. When traveling with it, this knowledge expands to the drone laws of the country you’re visiting. If you choose to stay ignorant, you may end up in jail, and this is exactly what happened to a French tourist in Myanmar. Thanks to his ignorance of the country’s drone law, he was arrested and sentenced to a whole month in jail just because he was taking some aerial shots with a drone.
DJI has just announced that they have been approved to offer Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) services for professional drone pilots. The FAA set up LAANC this year to help professional drone pilots operate within controlled airspace.
The FAA has been putting DJI through a “rigorous test and validation of DJI’s technology capabilities”, resulting in their seal of approval as a UAS Service Supplier. This allows DJI to offer their customers near-real-time authorisation to fly in controlled airspace near airports.
Drone registration rules will change according to a recently proposed rule. No, it won’t be deemed unconstitutional again. As a matter of fact, soon it will not be enough to just put the drone’s ID number inside the aircraft. Instead, it will need to have a visible “license plate” on the outside.
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.
Drone restrictions and regulations across the world often cite theoretical collisions with “real aircraft” as justification. Although it’s not so theoretical this time. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have released a report detailing an incident involving a DJI Phatom 4 and a US Army Black Hawk helicopter. Although it didn’t end in the destruction and devastation often portrayed on TV, it did leave a 1.5″ dent in the chopper’s propeller.