Drone use is becoming more commonplace across the United States both through hobbyists, and professional ventures. One of the most interesting aspects of this is the fact that this is an entirely new situation. Never before have we had so many small flying objects available to the average consumer. With so much new technology flying around, regulations needed to be created. At first, those regulations were overly cautious, and as a result overly stringent. Finally it looks like the U.S. is poised to update their, already outdated, drone regulations.
U.S. Department of Transportation recently proposed a new set of drone regulations that would allow routine flights at night and over groups of people provided that the operator follows proper safety regulations. Previously flying over groups of people or flying at night was rarely, if ever, allowed.
These new regulations would open the door for all kinds of new and innovative ways to utilize drones. For example, under the current rules a drone could not deliver a defibrillator to a car crash victim on the highway if other people were around. Under these new regulations, that would be possible.
The new regulations were announced by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao in a speech to the nonprofit Transportation Research Board. “This will help communities reap the considerable economic benefits of this growing industry and help our country remain a global technology leader,” said Chao.
Of course, the department that will be most affected by these changes is the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). “The FAA’s challenge in developing this proposal, therefore, is to balance the need to mitigate the risk small unmanned aircraft pose to other aircraft and to people and property on the ground without inhibiting innovation,” the said the FAA in proposed regulation.
Safety should always be of paramount importance when it comes to using technology in public places, but the fact of the matter is that the original drone regulations have been outdated for quite some time. Updating those regulations is good for the public, the drone industry and innovation. It will be exciting to see what new uses we find for drones after this changes goes into effect.