Drones can cause quite a mess when flying near airports, and there’s even a visualization demonstrating just how chaotic it gets up in the sky. Still, some drone pilots don’t give up on performing stunts dangerously close to airplanes and airports. Just recently, a drone operator “dive-bombed” a passenger airplane and flew directly in its path. The video was posted privately to a Facebook group, but it soon reached FAA and they’re currently investigating the incident.
U.S. national security and law enforcement agencies have expressed concerns about unauthorized drone use over DOE (Department of Energy) facilities. To address these concerns, FAA has announced that they are restricting drone flights above seven nuclear facilities in the U.S.
Yes, that’s right, the drone registry introduced in 2015, and deemed unconstitutional back in May of this year is now back. When the drone registration system was first introduced it was met with mixed response. On the one hand, there’s those worried about privacy, and on the other the “Well, if you’re not doing anything illegal, what do you have to worry about?”
Now, it seems privacy be damned, thanks to a bill signed into law yesterday by President Trump. The reinstated registration rules are a small part of a much larger $700bn National Defense Authorization Act. TechCrunch suggests that this was such a small part of the bill it likely slipped through unnoticed.
One of the drone regulations is not to fly over groups of people. However, the FAA has recently granted a waiver that grants to CNN to use of drones over large crowds. This waiver is the first of its kind, and according to CNN, it’s “an industry milestone.”
When it comes to flying over people, the rules previously allowed it only in closed set operations. The maximum allowed height was 21 feet, and the drone needed to be tethered. The latest waiver allows CNN to fly a drone over a group of people no matter the population density. The maximum altitude is increased to 150 feet, and the drone doesn’t need to be tethered.
FAA has announced that they are restricting drone flights over 10 major landmarks in the U.S. As stated, they are concerned about unauthorized drone operations over these landmarks, so they are imposing restrictions. From October 5, 2017, drone operators will not be able to fly their aircraft over 10 Department of the Interior (DOI) sites. The Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore and Hoover Dam are some of the landmarks where the drone use will be prohibited from now on.
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.
FAA’s regulations restrict flying the drones above the military bases. However, if you dare to do it anyway, you should know that you’ll most likely be left without your aircraft. The latest directive from Pentagon allows the military to seize or shoot down the drones that fly over the base. What’s more, the directive refers to both personal and commercial drones that are deemed a threat.
A few weeks ago, it was announced that the Federal Aviation Administration no longer requires registration for personal drones. The federal appeals court in Washington D.C. decided that the FAA simply has no right to require hobbyists to register their drones and model aircraft. Well, now the FAA have are offering to de-list drone hobbyists from their system and issue refunds.
The refund is basically down to the fact that they weren’t legally allowed to charge you in the first place. But you do have to file for it, you don’t just receive it. According to AINonline, the FAA have made available a “registration deletion and self-certification” form. Registrants must complete it and then mail it to the FAA Civil Aviation Registry.
Federal Aviation Administration is working on the new ways of identifying drones, in order to increase people’s safety and pilots’ accountability. As a part of these efforts, they are now proposing a remote identification of the consumer drones.
In May 2017, FAA announced that the registration of personal drones isn’t required any longer. This makes it more difficult to track down the pilots who fly their aircraft irresponsibly. Although the commercial drones still require registration, one still can’t see the identification number when the drone is up in the air. At the same time, the pilot could be hundreds of feet away while operating the aircraft. All this increases the risk of faulty operations and reduces people’s safety. This is why FAA is proposing the new solution that will allow the police to identify the drones remotely.
DJI haven’t wasted any time, have they? No sooner did the FAA announce that hobbyists would no longer need to register their drones did DJI step in and say “Well, actually, you do”. DJI have announced that they’re going to be crippling drones pretty severely if they’re not registered with them. The changes come as part of new firmware updates for their drones. It’s also coming to future versions of the DJI Go and DJI Go 4 apps.
The changes, set to take effect at the end of this week, are to ensure you’re using appropriate geospatial information. All existing flight safety limitations, like geofencing and altitude limits, will stay the same. But, until you register, you won’t be able to fly more than 50m (164ft) away from you, and no more than 30m (98ft) high. And it covers all the popular DJI drones, like the Phantom 4 range, and Mavic Pro.