Clearer Rules for Drones with NSTB Ruling

The days of  irresponsible drone piloting are numbered as the recent NSTB ruling paves the way for clearer rules for drone users.

The United States National Transportation Safety Board has ruled that the Federal Aviation Administration can enforce safety rules for drones. In a case from 2011, the NTSB said the FAA can apply rules against “careless or reckless” flights of unmanned aircraft as well as manned aircraft. In reaching its decision, the Board determined the FAA may indeed apply the regulation that prohibits the operation of any aircraft in a careless or reckless manner to unmanned aircraft. Read more here:

This sounds good as it will weed out drone users who have no regard for public safety. However, at the same time there are fears there will be more stringent measures against the use of drones, such as photography drones for aerial photography services.

In a report, it is said that the NSTB ruling has clearly said that regardless of how you describe your device, if you are operating in the National Airspace, the FAA has the authority to enforce its regulations that apply to aircraft. He points out that operators can still use drones through certificate of authorizations (COAs), Section 333 petitions and experimental airworthiness certificates. Moreover, the small unmanned aircraft rule is expected to be published this December, Adelman says. Therefore, operations are still permitted and are still occurring. However, those wanting to use a drone for their business need to be mindful that the FAA has enforcement authority. Read more here:

The law explicitly defines drones as aircraft subject to restrictions on unsafe flight activity, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board found. The decision preempts a March 6 ruling by an administrative law judge for the agency who said the FAA has no authority over small unmanned aircraft. The FAA, which oversees air traffic, has been trying to establish order on drones that are increasingly used by civilians such as surf photographers, Hollywood directors and real-estate agents. Read more:

Certainly, clear safety rules are needed to guide all drone users, do away with thoughtless drone operations, but it is also hoped “a balanced regulations be crafted so that civilian drones worthy of flying, for leisure or business be allowed to do so,” James Davis, publisher of The Droneologist said.

 

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