Print 39 comment(s) - last by Mint.. on Mar 11 at 6:47 AM

The FAA is currently working on regulations that would allow drone deliveries without putting the public or manned aircraft in danger

Amazon may be able to get its drones up in the air after all, as a recent court case found that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) lacks the authority to ban the commercial use of drones in the continental U.S.
According to Market Watch, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) administration law judge found that the FAA shouldn’t have fined a man $10,000 because his drone was no different than a model aircraft. 
Raphael Pirker, an aerial photographer, flew a small drone near the University of Virginia while making a commercial video in October 2011. The FAA fined Pirker $10,000 in an attempt to regulate commercial uses of small drones in U.S. airspace.
Pirker then appealed the fine, and the court found that the FAA doesn’t have any regulations that govern model aircraft flights or those that classify model aircraft as an "unmanned aircraft." In other words, the line between drone and toy hasn't been drawn. 
The FAA successfully banned the commercial use of unmanned aircraft over the U.S. airspace (until it develops rules for their part in the national airspace, at least), but there are no clear-cut rules for commercial drone use. In fact, the FAA is considering dealing with the drones on a case-by-case basis. In this case, it wasn't clear if it was an unmanned drone or toy plane.

The FAA believes that it should be able to ban drone flights because it has the power to regulate access to the national airspace.

The FAA isn't completely against commercial drones. In fact, it's currently working on regulations that would allow drone deliveries, thanks to a law passed by Congress in 2012 that told the FAA to have the rules ready by September 2015. But since those regulations are not yet complete, the subject is a huge grey area for now. 

In December 2013, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said he wanted to use unmanned "Prime Air" drones for small package delivery. Bezos said the company is currently testing unmanned, octocopter drones called "Prime Air" that have the ability to deliver small packages to customers in just 30 minutes.

Source: Market Watch

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RE: Go ahead FAA...
By JediJeb on 3/7/2014 4:12:48 PM , Rating: 5
I agree. The only regulation these need is a max ceiling for drones versus a min ceiling for manned aircraft with a buffer zone between the two.

Concerning property damage liability and such, make it a civil matter just like it is for automobiles. You break it you pay for it, whichever side is at fault. If some kid smashes a RC plane into your patio door, he(or his parents) are liable for the damage. Same with drones.

Wow, how simple, we just solved the whole problem with about two pages in the CFR.

RE: Go ahead FAA...
By inperfectdarkness on 3/10/2014 3:51:44 PM , Rating: 2
It already exists. It's called a coordinating altitude, and it's regularly used to separate rotory-wing from fixed-wing aircraft.

I STILL say this is skeet-shooting with prizes.

RE: Go ahead FAA...
By Mint on 3/11/2014 6:47:19 AM , Rating: 2
Concerning property damage liability and such, make it a civil matter just like it is for automobiles.

Automobiles are heavily regulated, genius. You didn't solve jack, and in fact you are implicitly advocating a bunch of legislation to be passed regarding drones.

You're also completely overlooking the fact that we have license plates and VINs to assign liability to an individual. We have registries tracking ownership, and somebody has to be present in a car when it causes damage.

Drones are an entirely different matter.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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