In a recent move, the Federal Aviation Administration proposed new rules for unmanned aircrafts used for commercial purposes. These new rules could impose severe restrictions on the drones used by amazon, google, and other companies. Commercial drones, an emerging industry unlike any other, could radically change the way we think about goods and services. But along with it comes the threat of surveillance, invasion of privacy and occupational dangers. The FAA considers these dangers significant enough to impose large scale restrictions on the use of such technology. It’s interesting that the theoretical misuse of commercial drones and microdrones does not hold a candle to armed drones used to murder civilians in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen, yet those remain curiously unregulated and unchecked.
Read an excerpt of the email written by Scott Shane:
In an attempt to bring order to increasingly chaotic skies, the Federal Aviation Administration has proposed long-awaited rules on the commercial use of small drones, requiring operators to be certified, fly only during daylight and keep their aircraft in sight. Announced Sunday, the rules, though less restrictive than the current ones, appear to prohibit for now the kind of drone delivery services being explored by Amazon, Google and other companies, since the operator or assigned observers must be able to see the drone at all times without binoculars. But company officials believe the line-of-sight requirement could be relaxed in the future to accommodate delivery services. The proposed regulations would cover only nonrecreational unmanned aircraft weighing up to 55 pounds and would not apply to the recreational use of drones, which have become hugely popular with hobbyists and are covered by other rules. ...read more