Governments in many countries do not have strict regulations to fly commercial drones but in the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is still signaling a red light for drones.
The FAA published operating standards for recreational use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in 1981. The FAA standards recommend that drones should fly under 400 feet and should avoid airports. In 2007, the FAA also published rules which stipulate that the guidelines applied only to “modelers” and did not apply to civil aircrafts that are used for businesses.
Since 2007, the FAA suggests that using a UAV for commercial purposes will require a permit. The FAA also says that anyone who wants to fly a manned or an un-manned aircraft in the U.S. airspace should have approval from the agency.
According to a Consumer Eagle report, Chance Roth, the CEO of AirDroids says that some drones are large enough, which can be a hazard and may result in an accident.
“When discussing drones, you’ve got to put them into two primary categories,” said Roth. “The first is personal use devices or those around five pounds. The other category is commercial use or devices that are heavier than five pounds. The former has been around for many, many years without any regulation at all. The latter are the ones I believe the public is more worried about, since when they come down it’s not usually with just a thud.”
Accidents relating to drones are rare, but they do occur. A New York teenager was killed by a remote-controlled helicopter in 2013. In a separate accident in 2010, UAV collided with a two-passenger plane, which resulted in an emergency landing in Colorado.
Some countries such as Japan have been using drones for various purposes like spraying crops. Using drones for spraying crops is cheaper than using a plane. Apart from the economic factor the drones are also said to be more effective in spraying fertilizers when compared to other aircrafts.
The use of smaller drones in some countries is not restricted provided that the operators of those UAV’s follow safety rules.
Reports suggest that the FAA is working on new rules for smaller UAVs, which are less than 55 pounds, in 2014. The agency is also expected to lay down full regulations for UAV’s by September 2015.