Its safe to say that drones are here to stay, already extensively being used by the military, it is expected that commercial drones will play a major role in the not so distant future. The Federal Aviation Administration is to chart out formal rules for the use of commercial drones by the end of 2015, so all legal questions surrounding the use are a bit murky at this stage. However in a recent ruling a NTSB Administrative Law judge held that since there are no binding rules against the use of commercial drones, the FAA can’t fine anybody. FAA has quickly, and unsurprisingly, appealed the ruling.
The appeal has been filed with the full National Transportation Safety Board, so essentially the ruling has been staying until the Board rules after its deliberations. In a statement, the FAA says that it is “concerned” that this ruling could impact safe operation of the country’s entire airspace system, and may also endanger property and people on the ground.
Despite murky legal issues, small commercial drones have already been put to work. They’ve proven to be quite valuable, particularly in video production, since operators get a birds-eye view as well as the ability to maneuver the drone into capturing spectacular shots. Its unclear how long the Board is going to take to rule on this issue, there’s certainly a lot riding on it. What do you think, do small drones constitute as a legitimate threat to the country’s airspace?
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