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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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WiFly.
By drycrust3 on 3/8/2014 4:16:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
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."

There is a point which seems to have been missed, which is where does a "drone" passenger aircraft fit in? As I see it, there isn't anything to stop someone taking the regular flight controls out of an aircraft, e.g. a helicopter, fitting in drone controls, download the mandatory app to your smartphone or tablet, and Viola! You have your own drone helicopter that you can fly around using your iPad without needing a pilot's licence.
Ha ha, a new word for the dictionary: "WiFly: Flying an aircraft using a smartphone instead of regular flight controls", that is just so seriously funny on the one hand, and at the same time the technology is already here and there is nothing to stop it from being a reality.
I can see the next generation of aircraft crashes won't be things like "pilot error", but "user error", e.g. "went out of coverage area", "flat battery", "Received a phone call", etc.




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