FAA’s First Rules on Hobby Drones: Stay Away from Airports and Crowds

Owing to the rise in reckless incidents involving hobby drones with some resulting to almost fatal collisions with civilian commercial aircraft, the FAA has just released its first set of restrictions for these recreational aircraft which are to take effect immediately: stay away from airports and crowds.

To corral a surge in incidents of reckless, recreational drone use, the U.S. government barred flights of small unmanned aircraft near airports and crowds. People who want to fly drones as hobbyists should take lessons on safe operation and keep the aircraft within their line of sight, according to a Federal Aviation Administration notice released today. The limits apply to recreational drones weighing less than 55 pounds (25 kilograms).  Read more at:

Hazardous occurrences are becoming more frequent as more drones — legal and illegal — take to the skies, according to a year-long investigation by The Washington Post. See here

The guidance follows incidents involving the reckless use of unmanned model aircraft near airports and involving large crowds of people, FAA said. The FAA also defended its right to set rules in a notice that went into effect on Monday and is open for public comment for 30 days. The agency also interpreted existing statutes to rule out the use of hobbyist and recreational model aircraft for purposes such as photographing a property or event to sell the photos to someone else, or delivering packages to people for a fee. Read more here:

This new set of rules by the FAA restricting the use of recreational drones follows the recent banning by the National Park Service of hobby drones from national parks. It is high time the FAA issues such guidance before any major catastrophe involving the use of hobby drones takes place.

 

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