The idea of drones date as back as mid-19th century when the first record of the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle was made in form of incendiary balloons. Historically and originally, drones were designed for war fighting as witnessed on July 1849 during besiegement of Venice by Austrian forces. Since then, there has been a plethora of drone applications ranging from aerial surveillance, filmmaking, mineral exploration, disaster relief and recreational use among many. Since drones are certainly available and obtainable by man, authorities have chipped in with regulations.
It has become clear that skills are no longer the only thing needed to operate and fly a drone. The photographic enthusiasm, journalism and tourism compaction are the common areas making great usage of unmanned aerial vehicle in the event of aerial capturing. This overwhelming interest towards UAVs has led to the legislative bodies terming it as a menace worthy undivided attention and curbing.
So many people are taking on drone related ventures making it a necessity to protect the public. This has been achieved through the rampant formulation and enactment of public regulations. Those owning a drone are definitely aware of FAA- Federal Aviation Administration- rules to fly a UAV in the United States as well as the demand for their registration. It is equably logical for one to say the legislative measures are increasing at a higher rate that without routinely update, it will be hard for one to keep away from finding himself or herself on the other side of the law.
The emergency of drone or aircraft laws is believed to have commenced back in the year 1946 with a declaration by the US Supreme Court stated that the airspace above the ground will henceforth belong to the federal government. Similar laws and proposals from numerous law firms have followed thus completely shaking up the drone industry and users at large.
Newly proposed laws against drones
Drone owners now have no choice but to fly their crafts under certain laws or conditions. The laws are so rigid that even the most careful operators still find themselves in conflict with the rules. Below is a summary of newly proposed laws that influence and govern drone flights. These laws have diversely affected the drone flyers. They no longer fly the drones anyhow and anywhere, as this would attract a maximum penalty of one year in prison in addition with a $ 100,000 fine, suspension or/and revocation of one’s pilot licence.
Place and property limitation
The pilot has to be conscious of the surrounding of the area under which the drone is flown. For instance it should not be over populated residential areas. If it should be flown in public places, then other considerations such as time have to be adhered to. The pilot is also demanded to conduct a pre-flight check of all available information about the area before a flight. As for private property, it is required that one seeks a permit for capturing some private events and property. This implies what was once regarded as casual capturing for instant a video around one’s community can land one in several litigations.
Altitude, Weight and speed Limitation
Drones currently have threshold height beyond which should not be flown. Flying a drone, 400 feet airspaces above anything that is unprotected is considered as the commitment of a civil offense. The drones with commercial use have to weigh a maximum of 55 pounds, be flown within stipulated height and at a speed of not more than one thousand miles an hour. Also, they can only fly during the day within a pilot’s line of sight.
Possession age Limit
There is anticipation of a drone bill that targets children aged 17 years and below. This group will be banned from owning aircraft that exceed 250g. The bill is in correlation with people’s safety. It is believed that there are high chances and incidences of crashing of drones flown by children. The law allows only the flying of the drone by this group when it is registered under an adult individual.
Not anyone can fly the drone regardless of whether you have the skills. The laws are very clear that only those who have sat for the test, passed and awarded a remote pilot certificate are legible to operate the drones.
The drones have become a common subject and attention grabber all over the world. Just like any other technological innovations years before, the drones and there applications have faced criticism. However, owing to the number of beneficial effects overweighing the negatives ones, drones are here to stay. They are such indispensable ingredients in the photography industry, agriculture, legal surveillance, package delivery, wildlife tracking among others makes them impossible to discard. Nations have taken it upon their shoulders to propose and enact laws to control drone technology.
Pae Natwilai, is the founder of TRIK, a former oil and gas inspection and maintenance engineer, who was named as one of the rising stars in the Forbes 30 under 30.