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.
DJI’s new drone tracking system, AeroScope was announced last month. It’s designed to allow officials at airports, military installations and other restricted areas to easily spot unauthorised drone use.
The Verge went to talk to DJI North America managing director, Michael Perry to see how the system in action and find out how it works.
Tracking drones is a bit of a hot topic. With all of the legislation constantly changing and evolving around the world, authorities want to know who’s flying offending drones. Put simply, there’s really no accountability. Unless they can find the person holding the transmitter, or law-breaking footage is posted to YouTube or Facebook and reported, there’s no way to find out who’s breaking the rules.
Now, though, that’s about to change. The concept of tracking drones has been a difficult challenge to overcome. But DJI have come up with a solution. AeroScope. They figured, “Hey, we’re pumping out all this drone data to the operator, why not take advantage of the existing system?”. Which is exactly what AeroScope does, to provide information on nearby drones.
The FAA has relaxed his drone regulations a little in the USA. People no longer have to register them, and guidelines for hobbyists and professionals are quite clear. When Newton Massachusetts attempted take things further with local regulation, though, one resident fought back. Dr Michael Singer, a professor at Harvard, claimed the proposed ordinance was preempted by federal law and violated his rights.
His case won. The court ruled that it was indeed in violation of his rights. sUAS News went live on Google hangouts today with Dr Singer, along with Loretta Alkalay and attorney Jonathan Rupprecht. It’s a very interesting discussion going over what happened and the potential implications for the rest of the USA.
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.
This might sound like a click-baity title, but this is essentially what will happen if the current “Prototype regulations” go through. It’s difficult to know just where to begin when trying to describe how ludicrous some of these regulations are. They would essentially outlaw almost every drone currently on the market. The European Aviation Safety Authority also can’t seem to figure out the difference between drones and “model aircraft”, so they’re being pulled in as well.
In the UK and throughout Europe, right now, we have some fairly healthy drone rules which allow hobbyists a lot of freedom to pursue their hobby. The new regulations would place very impractical if not virtually impossible limitations on what and how you can fly. This video from First Person View goes through the basics of these regulations, and what they mean.