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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: Typical FAA
By Belegost on 3/8/2014 11:47:23 AM , Rating: 3
That does not give the FAA jurisdiction over all RC activity. And it sure as hell doesn't mean they can arbitrarily fine you tens of thousands of dollars because they "think" you were being unsafe. What happened to due process and innocent until guilty?
Never said it did, I was just pointing out that your assertion this person was just "minding his own business" and "Nobody was at risk, nobody was going to be hurt" don't match with what others, including the activist group supporting model plane pilots, say. The judge rightly pointed out that there was no existing law covering this, and hence the FAA was wrong.
Nice platitude, but it must be tempered with some reality. A little boy flying a kite could lead to you losing an eye, or wrecking your car. Accidents happen.

You people think you can legislate and regulate away every single activity until zero risk to others is achieved, it's ridiculous. It's impossible.
A little boy responsibly flying his kite in an open park with adult supervision has a low probability of causing harm to anyone, though it could happen. However if this little boy is flying a high speed stunt kite over a busy downtown square buzzing people as they walk by the risk of harm is hugely increased.

Thus you have successfully pointed out the need for laws that are non-vague and describe the cases where the actions of people have reached a point of negligent disregard for the safety of others.

I don't want some fairy world with no risk, that's nonsense. However I feel I have a reasonable expectation that I should not have to deal with unnecessary risk caused by others simply being irresponsible. Overall I wish we could just use basic laws on reckless endangerment - but thank the lawyers who will argue the sun is black until night comes for making it impossible to have a small body of reasonable laws covering general scenarios.
Yes I bet you just can't wait until all the evil RC pilots can only operate in their designated zones, after paying outrageous licenses and fees to our Federal overlords for the "privilege".
Why would I want that? I want clear laws on what reasonable limits are. In the past model planes have been more restricted to flying within line of sight of the pilot, because real time video communications were too expensive and/or slow to maintain. Now we have the ability, which means it's far easier for someone to fly their craft in an unsafe manner far from their actual location. And as this example shows there are people willing to be irresponsible with it, so it seems like rules limiting flights, so that there is say a reasonable area around helicopter landing pads that craft should avoid, and a reasonable distance from visible civilians to maintain. If someone is found to have violated these rules they should be fined accordingly.

And as I see it the AMA already has guidelines in place, they know that responsible flying will keep them from being targeted for Draconian licensing and zoning.

To make it more personal, I am a fan of classic weapons, I own several swords and a 4 ft battleaxe made by a friend with a forge. I have the right to own these, and I honestly feel I should have the right to carry them responsibly in public (which I don't). At the same time I in no way feel like I have the right to walk around the city swinging my axe around on the streets where it is very possible I could harm someone. Why? Because I'm a responsible effing adult. The fact that there are others who can't limit themselves is why we need laws to define limits and consequences from exceeding those limits.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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