Drones: Boon or Bane?

Despite their growing popularity and demand, are drones a boon or bane? The country’s drone industry is restive: drone technology promises a lot of benefits in many fields of commerce, aerial photography and other areas of use, but it cannot truly fly off as much as it should, due to restrictions, the dangers unskilled drone piloting can cause, and other concerns.

Despite the breathtaking possibilities, the Federal Aviation Administration is expected to issue — as soon as the next several weeks — proposed rules that aren’t likely to satisfy drone supporters or those concerned about privacy, says a recent news report. Lauf, a computer engineering and computer science assistant professor whose research involves drone technology, expects the long-awaited federal regulations will include — as various media outlets have reported — requirements such as operators being required to get airplane pilot’s licenses, altitude limits and having to keep the drone within the operator’s sight. Read more here:

In addition, pilot certifications likely to be proposed by the FAA would typically require dozens of hours flying manned aircraft, according to people familiar with the rule-making discussions. Drone proponents have resisted requiring traditional pilot training for drone operators. Read more here:

Drone users and enthusiasts in the uav aerial photography services will most likely find this requirement restrictive, if not forbidding.

More seriously, however, is the report that the approvals given by the FAA to filmmakers are “bedeviled by warnings and conflicts” as internal e-mails have shown. An article on The Washington Post reports: senior officials had overruled objections from some of its safety inspectors, who had warned after a formal review that the filmmakers’ plans were too risky and should be prohibited, according to documents and e-mails obtained by The Washington Post. See more here:


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