As consumer drones become increasingly common, public administrators around the world are closely watching to determine better regulations.
Drone Flights & Public Safety: What’s Happening
In the Netherlands, someone posted a YouTube video flying a drone over 11,000 feet. The EU and US both restrict flying over 400 feet.
The City of Seattle won a case on behalf of a woman that was hit in the head by a falling drone from the sky during a parade.
Drones are being used to fly to prison cell windows at night delivering Pringle cans full of drugs , making it impossible for correction officers to stop in Britain.
Even Washington was at high alert as a man landed his remote-controlled quadcopter on the White House grounds.
Governments are responding with greater restrictions and more accountability measures for drone owners. As of 2016, the FAA mandates that new drone owners register their SUAS (Small Unmanned Aircraft System) if it weighs between .55lbs and 55 pounds. Commercial UAS owners must obtain a Remote Pilot Airman Certificate and pass the TSA vetting.
Drone Removal Strategies
Privacy and safety issues are two of the key reasons that public administrators have reacted so swiftly. Some communities are considering creative ways to remove drones beyond legislation. In Chicago, drone no-fly zones have been established. Governments are considering the purchase of the Skywall drone capturing system, a large bazooka that can predict drone movement and shoot a net that will capture and parachute the drone to the ground.
Drone manufacturers, like DJI, are installing GPS geofencing software that creates “no-fly zones” automatically restricting drone flight in heavily populated areas like airports and governmental buildings.
More radical measures are being tested overseas. In Europe, the Dutch police have decided not to use high tech means but train birds to capture drones. The police are working on making sure the eagles and hawks intercept flying drones safely without injury. The Indian government recently funded a 14-year old boy, $730,000 to complete a drone laser that detects and destroys hidden bombs on land.
Public administrators are also experiencing the economic impact of drone flight restriction as more and more companies move forward to bring drones into everyday life.
Amazon is expanding its plans to use drones by obtaining two patents. The first patent awarded Amazon the use of street lamppost as drone docking stations and the second patent to create “airborne fulfillment center” (AFC). The AFC will have an airship that will hover 45,000 feet in the air as a warehouse for drones to deploy orders in minutes to buyers.
The US. Army drone program will provide soldiers in battle with miniature drones by 2018 to aid with ground operations. These tiny drones will use Soldier Borne Sensors (SBS) that will be ready to deploy for reconnaissance missions.
Public administrators have to find a delicate balance when determining legislation that will affect the personal privacy, economic development, safety, and property rights for the community. You can learn more about the FAA regulations, the capabilities of some of the most popular drones, and drone user groups that are forming throughout the United States.