KEEP CALM: The FAA and sUAVs/Drone Rules UPDATED
Filtering-out the Facts from Fiction & Paranoia
With the publishing of Jack Nicas and Andy Pasztor’s speculative and interpretive article in the Wall Street Journal this past fall, it seems every news agency, media outlet and publication has totally lost their minds in a fit of hysteria liken to Chicken Little proportions; sparking “end of days” tweets and forum discussions throughout the social mediasphere that has brought on an industry-wide panic akin to Orson Wells’ War of the Worlds live broadcast radio play. Let’s just stop right there and breathe for a moment – turn off the TV, put down that paper and let’s look at some facts… (UPDATED through 2015)
If you’re new to the sUAV (small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) and sUAS (small Unmanned Aerial Systems) or “drones” industry and are only reading the headlines today or hearing the rumors and fears of those around you (or on TV) then you probably think that sUAV you bought or were thinking of buying for the holidays is just going to have to sit on the shelf until the FAA gets around to making up the new regulations for the industry.
You might think… but you’d be wrong.
First of all, the FAA can’t make laws – only develop guidelines and regulations. The federal government has no authority whatsoever to regulate the operation of remote-controlled model aircraft.
Let’s back up a little and look at how the FAA has been kicking the can down the road for several years now: