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FAA releases TRUST: Free online training required to fly drones recreationally (dpreview.com)
167 points by asix66 41 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 167 comments



Since the title * can be mis-interpreted to mean that you’ve never needed a license, I can forgive some commenters here from forgetting that just a few years ago, the only legal way to fly a drone was with an actual aircraft pilot’s license. Drone operators, rightly, thought that was pretty silly, but it took a number of years before the FAA crafted drone-specific rules and allowed drone flights under 400 feet without a license.

Having to attend a short online training course about what the rules are and to stay away from people and out of the airspace of manned aircraft seems pretty reasonable, and perhaps necessary given the growing number of drone accidents in the recent past https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_UAV-related_incidents

* edit: the HN title has been changed for the better. To clarify for anyone reading this now, my comment was referring to the previous HN title: “Effective Immediately: You need a drone license before you fly in the US”


> ...just a few years ago, the only legal way to fly a drone was with an actual aircraft pilot’s license.

As I understood it, small unmanned aircraft flown for hobby or recreational use had long been excluded from the full authority of the FAA (except for some basic rules for respecting the airspace of manned aircraft), or the need for a pilot's license. They were essentially treated like RC airplanes, which of course have not required a pilot's license to operate, albeit with some of those basic rules (I believe the AMA was involved in establishing some of those guidelines).

Of course, when drones became more popular, there was a lot of misunderstanding when it came to the interpretation of current regulations (e.g., line-of-sight operation vs FPV), and it was debatable whether or not the FAA even had the authority to regulate the operation of small hobby aircraft, including drones. Commercial operation was and still is clearly regulated by the FAA and requires a license.

Basically, what I'm saying is that in this category of aircraft (for recreational use), the FAA has become more involved and restrictive over the past few years, not less so. In my opinion, that's generally been a good thing (some people do foolish things with drones), but the regulation should also be balanced in maintaining some of those reasonable freedoms of operation.


>the only legal way to fly a drone was with an actual aircraft pilot’s license.

That must have been a rather large drone (or maybe what you mean is "fly a drone near an airport or city") since you don't even need a pilot's license to fly small planes in the US.


You don't need a pilot's license* to fly ultralight category aircraft in the US, but for the category commonly called "small planes", you do.

Ultralights are governed by Part 103 and limited to: single-seat, day-only, VFR-only, weighing less than 254 pounds, carrying 5 US gallons or less, and having a top speed of not more than 55 knots [calibrated].

* - Technically "certificate", but practically the same.


The only reason I see for drones not being compliant with that is that they lack the single seat.


One part commonly overlooked is "see and avoid". That is, under VFR, a pilot should look out the window and avoid hitting other things. Which, strange as it sounds, has been a sticking point for some drone flight approvals.


It’s not strange at all. Drone pilots have more limited visibility.

The bigger issue is that drone pilots have no skin in the game. If they cause an mid air collision resulting in fatalities: opsie daisy!


only the most psychopathic individuals say "oopsie daisy" after causing accidental death.

for everyone else the result is usually a lot of sobbing.

that doesn't mean they're not blase about taking risks ahead of time. but that's more because they misevaluate the risk, and can't clearly imagine the negative outcomes.


The commercial use aspect also came into play- if you were hired to use the drone to do something (like take pictures), or were a company using a drone as part of a product/service, it would arguably fall under a different set of rules. Which is another reason clarification was needed.


Does a person need to be sitting in the seat? Or could I just put some plastic Lego seat on my drone and qualify?


You'd fail 14 CFR § 103.1.a:

"Is used or intended to be used for manned operation in the air by a single occupant;"


Huh, so if I build a remote control system for an intended-to-be-manned ultralight, I could use it as a drone without a certificate, but not an actual purpose-built drone?


So long as you could successfully argue in front of an FAA Administrative Law Judge that you "used or intended to use it" as a manned aircraft.

Since it sounds like you're doing so with the specific intention to use it as an unmanned craft, the Part 103 rules would not apply (and would not permit it). (The law is “is” rather than “was originally built to be”.)


Yes, to people who don't fly though an ultralight and Cessna both look like "small planes."


You don't? Multiple people I know who fly regularly say they're required to fly a certain amount or else they'll lose the license to fly.


They won’t lose their license. They’ll just be out of currency. Which means they can’t fly passengers until they get current which is as single as three takeoffs and landings.


I appreciate the new system. When the first set of rules requiring certification went through, I called all 3 of the training locations the FAA had listed in my state and none of them had any idea what I was asking about. I ended up not flying my drone for over a year, until I brought it to Mexico.


If I remember correctly that legal requirement was rejected / nullified by legal challenge to the FAA n federal court,


It’s a 30 minute class and probably a no brainer for most people. Sometimes you have to take these for a fishing licenses or to ride a Jet Ski without a license. Hunter education courses are usually mandatory. In Florida you have to take certification course if you plan to Shark fish.


And such measures can be pretty useless and only amount to rent-seeking. I did hunter education in Colorado with the Makhaira group. Some students were unable to hit an 8.5x11 sheet of paper with a .22 bolt-action rifle at a distance of 5 yards (which is absolutely pathetic for someone who thinks they can hit a deer at even 100 yards with a hunting rifle). These individuals were granted their credentials because they failed this exercise while not breaking any of the gun safety rules (I'm not sure how you can say that you can fire a gun safely when you're that inaccurate, but that's my point).


>> And such measures can be pretty useless and only amount to rent-seeking. I did hunter education in Colorado with the Makhaira group. Some students were unable to hit an 8.5x11 sheet of paper with a .22 bolt-action rifle at a distance of 5 yards (which is absolutely pathetic for someone who thinks they can hit a deer at even 100 yards with a hunting rifle). These individuals were granted their credentials because they failed this exercise while not breaking any of the gun safety rules

Gun safety is the point, not marksmanship.

In this case the point is safe drone use. There have been incidents of people flying drones in controlled airspace around airports, which is dangerous. The FAA doesn't give a shit about some dude and his drone, they care about the safety of the general public. A simple course like this will cut down on the number of people doing things that endanger others.


At a certain point, inability to hit a target becomes a safety issue.


You don't shoot in any direction where missing the target is a problem. If there a a house near-by or a busy road and the path of a bullet not hitting its target may encroach that space you don't even point your gun let alone shoot. For deer hunting an elevated position in a stand makes it more likely you see a deer but also makes it far less likely that a miss will go somewhere you don't want.


Missing by a couple minutes of angle is understandable, and factored into safe use.

“Unable to hit the broad side of a barn” (American aphorism) isn’t a miss, it’s functional/cognitive inability to abide by safety rules.


> You don't shoot in any direction where missing the target is a problem.

Hoping that the class included that nugget of wisdom. That being said, being wildly inaccurate with a hunting rifle isn't usually a problem, especially if the sights are calibrated correctly. A handgun however, is pretty dangerous when you don't know how to aim it.


It's one of the core gun safety bullet points, so any class covering gun safety certainly should have. . . .


> I'm not sure how you can say that you can fire a gun safely when you're that inaccurate,

Isn't "be aware of what's behind your target" one of the rules of gun safety?


If your aim is off enough that could be an issue. You’ll never know what’s beyond your sight, so if your aim is too high…

There are places on my property I could use for inexperienced shooters, and those would be different from places I could use.

My friend brings people to his family’s gravel pit for that reason - huge “walls” when you’re in the pit.


Licensing is only tangentially about competence. The point is to have a revokable permission.


Selective enforcement of rules and legal discretion ought to be banned through constitutional amendment.


How many people continue to drive a car after having their license revoked? When they do, they are capable of far greater damage than a revoked drove license. People that have to respect for the law are not going to follow the law. How many criminals carry weapons even though there are laws?

The point of laws are to give guidance to know what is/isn't allowed, and to allow for punishiment when broken.


Considering the number of drone flying incidents that ground fire fighting equipment, or cause concerns around airports - I think the drone operation education is one of the cheaper ways to reduce incidents


Usually, these aren't expensive classes nor is the licensing expensive. And generally, those funds are earmarked towards paying either for the education or enforcement.

As for the actual shooting education... I mean, I think I care more about someone being safe with a gun than I care about them being a good shot. Missing the side of the barn matters less than making sure someone's not standing next to the barn when you are shooting.


My point was more that the class was just plain garbage and that's the most objective measure of how terrible it was that I can think of. There were people repeatedly and absent-mindedly pointing rifles at the person next to them. You know why they still got the hunter's safety card? Because they didn't do it on their last shot, so obviously they learned their lesson. The in-person instruction was also just a slide-show of the instructor's previous hunting trip.

That said, I stand by my suggestion that an inability to hit a standard sheet of paper at 5 yards with a training rifle is bad enough to qualify as a safety issue. Doing the math here, these people would be unable to hit a 60' target at typical deer ranges in my state. You can't be sure of your target and what's behind it at that point, and that's one of the 4 fundamental rules of gun safety. You should be measuring your ability to hit the vital organs of an animal in a low number of minutes of angle - so we're talking INCHES at the same ranges. If you can't do that you have no business hunting. If you're off by 60' you're just plain being reckless.


For all those disagreeing, I’ll agree with you. Inability to hit a large target at very close range belies cognitive inability to perform safely. Knowing rules of the road doesn’t matter if you can’t drive on the road for a mere 100 feet without going over the curb.

That said, methinks this FAA training is abusing rent-seeking to harass & discourage small drone use (just as most legally obligated “gun safety” courses are designed to hinder ownership via imposing undue cost & time burdens).

[LFI-IV][Gunsite/Cooper]


How would a free 30 minute class considered "rent-seeking"?


Was the certificate on marksmanship, or safe handling of a firearm?

Firing a weapon inaccurately in the correct general direction isn't high risk, this isn't how people get hurt in hunting accidents. You shouldn't even have your rifle up (let alone firing) at all unless you have a clear idea of what will happen when you miss, and a good view of the field.

I doubt the licensing body gives any thought to your probability of a successful hunt.


I'd argue that the point isn't to enable rent seeking (though some parties definitely benefit from that), the point is to add bureaucratic red tape to discourage the activity.

>I'm not sure how you can say that you can fire a gun safely when you're that inaccurate, but that's my point

The NYPD probably has a well practiced answer to this question.


You have to watch a video and answer basic questions before they give you a permit for Fiery Furnace in Arches National Park too. I have done that a couple of times, as well as Australia's simple drone test, and they're both no-brainers.


Flying lawn mowers have existed for decades: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNWfqVWC2KI


Let's say you're in America rather than Australia, because context matters.

If it happens a few people cannot operate domestic lawnmowers correctly and chase crowds down with them out of acts of terrorism because they slip a gasket, should we have licenses, certifications, and tracking of all lawnmowers? Is that a "no-brainer" too? Maybe we should think first before trying to regulate or educate ourselves out of every edge-case risk.


This is ridiculous because the default use for a lawnmower is solely your own yard, and it doesn't fly. Most literally power down if they leave your hand.

And the reality is that drone testing and licensing isn't based on hypothetical risks, but real world incidents which have disrupted public safety and caused injuries. So if you have sources for lawnmowers threatening the public safety and injuring anyone outside the owners' household, let me know.


Lawnmowers have aren't shopping carts. They don't know the boundaries of a yard.

You haven't seen "The Lawnmower Man?" Carry or swing a running lawnmower upside down through a dense crowd, and it will injure many people.


I think the idea with drones is that it's much easier to cause great harm to a great number of people accidentally. A lawn mower has very obvious risks: a spinning blade. A drone has many non-obvious risks: scaring wildlife, power lines, planes, restricted airspace, falling out of the sky onto people, etc.


The air is a public thoroughfare. We have a long and established history of licensing for activity that require public cooperation on publicly shared resources: driving, boating, hunting, fishing, radio operation, etc.


"No-brainer" is purely my describing it as a simple test. If you have an issue with the licensing itself, that might be better as a top level comment.


I hear you, but this is apples and peanuts, not even oranges. There's little risk you're going to accidentally launch your mower into a car, building, a person. It stays on the ground. A small mistake or moment of inattention, or mower failure won't cause it to drop from hundreds of feet down onto who ever is below.

There's also awareness of where you can and cannot operate drones and people should know this. You are after all occupying air space. If drones could only fly up 30 feet it would be a different story but they can go quite far. People fly them over protected airspace, crash them in random places... Last thing you want is people flying them over airports, over busy streets or highways where they can crash into planes, get sucked in to engines, crash into cars and cause accidents, etc etc...

They're not asking people to take hundreds of hours of flight to get certified, just a short awareness course for those who have no common sense... You don't need to blow a gasket to have a drone accident. It's not like drones are crash proof and all aware of airspace restrictions. Just don't want to have accidents in places that can affect others or have people fly them into places that will automatically trigger an emergency responses and disrupt operations and waste time and money... Like a drone over an airport where they'll dispatch security to take down the drone and interrupt all flights taking off or landing. Thats a LOT of money for one person's ignorance or stupidity.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2190096-drones-are-caus...

I'm all for freedom as long as your 10 minutes of good times don't cost others a ton of money and the reality is there's a ton that can go wrong even with no intent on doing anything wrong.


This particular analogy in the US lead to a whole variety of safety measures, eg you can't mow with a riding mower in reverse without holding down a override switch, and there still dozens of children a year being reversed over by an inattentive operator.


Unless things have changed recently that's a California only thing.

My coworkers were recently pontificating about how "not for sale in California" is practically a marketable feature on anything with a blade or engine after one of them suffered the misfortune of buying one.


The blade brake on a walk behind was mandated in 1982 at a federal level by the CPSC. Riding mowers were mandated by ansi 2003 standard, including everyone's favourite 'operator presence control's aka the seat safety switch.

Most everything safety can be disabled if you really want, but anyone pontificating about CA compliant emissions on small power equipment can go sit with the coal-rollers as far as im concerned.

Edit: to stay on topic, if people start getting frequently maimed by drones then I'd expect to see some crazy CPSC action like an altitude safety switch or something...


I’m curious why this context matters?


Because most former British colonies tend to welcome education and regulation with open arms as a panacea instead of with suspicion of onerous, unnecessary drudgery and expense.


Which matters in terms of a non emotion based discussion on an international forum why exactly?


One big difference here, is that for these other recreational activities the license is only required if you doing them on public lands, however on private land you do not need a hunting license, or fishing license at all

From what I understand these FAA rules apply even if i am operating a drone in my back yard.


Yes, because there is no such thing as unregulated airspace. The FAA governs all navigable airspace, and a drone has no minimum flight altitude, so literally any outdoor flight is within their purview.


I am aware that is the FAA Position, I am also aware that United States v. Causby The US Surpreme Court reject the US Government claim "to possess all airspace above the United States down to ground level" holding that a Military jet flying at an altitude 83ft is a violation of the land owners rights to their property, aka the low altitude airspace

Further navigable airspace under current regulations starts at 500feet above ground or structures


Additionally, the FAA only regulates buildings that are 200ft above the ground or more (unless they are near an airport), see [1]. It seems ridiculous that the FAA doesn't care if you build a 200ft tall tower and fly a drone inside it but does care if you fly a drone outside at the same height. The FAA likely realizes that regulating all buildings taller than 0ft is a ridiculous proposition while regulating all airspace probably attracts less scrutiny.

[1] https://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=84336


You need a license to hunt/fish on private land.


Not in Georgia if it is your land or your wife/brother/sister/dependent of you and you all live in the same house hold. You’re still required to get a free deer harvest record or free Turkey stamp etc…. No hunter ED required. [1]

[1] https://georgiawildlife.com/licenses-permits-passes/choose


Not in my state... I am not sure where you live but in every state I am aware of this is not true, though I tend to only live in area's where freedom is respected so...

Edit: I am rate limited but a comment below claims KY does not allow hunting with out a license, yet Offical KY government web sites says you can

"if you are a Kentucky resident hunting on your own property, then neither you, your spouse nor your dependent children need a license or statewide deer permit to harvest a deer. "

https://fw.ky.gov/Hunt/Pages/Deer-Season-FAQ.aspx

This is the regulations I am aware for most states, if you are on your own private land you do not need a license to hunt and fish


I’m not aware of any state where you can hunt wild game on private land without a license. Including states where you would expect that to be the case if it were true anywhere… ND, SD, MT, and KY to name a few. Non-game species and preserve “hunting” are a different matter.


That's very interesting. Worth moving to Kentucky! Everywhere else I have visited you need a license, and to follow bag limits. Except for non licensed animals: rabbits, squirrels, gophers for example; or predators: cougars, wolves, bears.


My state ( which is not KY) has no resictions either, I verified it just now as I had not looked at the regulations in several years as I do not hunt normally so I wanted to see if they had changed since the last I looked, but no changes.

A land owner is free to hunt, fish, etc on their own land with no license in my state


The key difference is that if you're flying anything, you're not operating 'in [your] back yard' - the FAA has purview over that airspace.


Yes I am aware that the FAA claims to have full control over everything down to the ground, I am also aware there is not much case law supporting that position, and in fact the case law seems to indicated the Supreme Court could be in a position to limit the FAA's authority to 100ft and higher, anything lower than that being consider private property.

IMO it is clear unconstitutional taking for the FAA to seize ownership of all the air above my property, with out limit


Your backyard or 100 acre plot, doesn't change a thing, isn't restricted airspace. A plane can fly over it, and the one in a million chance that you're flying your drone high enough to impact a plane or helicopter exists.

Say people just start launching rockets and drones literally anywhere, at any time... How are flight paths supposed to be know ahead of time to avoid collisions? With 45,000ish DAILY commercial flights handled by the FAA, almost 20,000 airports in the US, how exactly do you think you can safely co-exist without catastrophes if people can just start putting stuff up there?

My reaction to this whole "unconstitutional" rebuttal to everything in the US is literally jaw dropping, confused, and wtf... If you're smart enough to not do something stupid, or not put yourself in a position to make mistakes that affect others, thats great. Good for you. There's 350 million other peeps just in your neck of the woods and I can guarantee you that same innate sense of logic and common sense doesn't apply to everyone else. When a stupid move can put the lives of 100s of others at risk, or cost a ton of money every time they need to intervene, I'm not sure you get to just throw around "me myself and I and my constitution" and actually come out not sounding like a 1 year old throwing a tantrum because he's told to not wipe poop on everything and everyone.

How many hundreds of millions or billions would have to be wasted in downtime, planes crashes, car crashes, lives lost, random injuries, before we ask people to do the equivalent of reading the dumb ass common sense instructions that came with the toy that is way more than a toy?


>>My reaction to this whole "unconstitutional" rebuttal to everything in the US is literally jaw dropping, confused, and wtf.

Well the constitution is where the Government derives is power from, I know it is a concept most people (even US Citizens to not ) understand. The Constitution is a document that explicitly outlines what the government can do, if the constitution does not grant the authority than the government has no power over that thing.

This is far different than most government organization where constitutions apply more to the people not the government, meaning the constitutions in many nations assume the government is all powerful and simply grants some rights to the people for which the government is barred from infringing.

This is not true for the US, as the founder of the US recognize that our Rights are natural rights bestowed upon us by our creator, we are self governing for which we organized a government and granted that government a very LIMITED amount of power.

>>Say people just start launching rockets and drones literally anywhere, at any time... How are flight paths supposed to be know ahead of time to avoid collisions? With 45,000ish DAILY commercial flights handled by the FAA, almost 20,000 airports in the US, how exactly do you think you can safely co-exist without catastrophes if people can just start putting stuff up there?

That is easy, as my other comments have laid out I am talking about low altitude situation, not many planes under 100ft or even 500 feet, there should be no issue with the FAA only regulating things above say 500ft

>>the one in a million chance that you're flying your drone high enough to impact a plane or helicopter exists.

So 1:1,000,000 is the statistical floor for you? You might want to rethink that because if that is your risk tolerance that more or less makes everything illegal. Hopefully you have at least some respect for freedom, and are not a complete totalitarian, pretty sure you said in another comment "you are all for freedom" but if you want to outlaw everything that has a 1:1,000,000 chance of unsafe event well I dont think you have any respect for freedom at all


> A plane can fly over it

Maybe it shouldn't. Ground vehicles need to purchase land to operate, maybe planes needn't have right of way over private property.

> I'm not sure you get to just throw around "me myself and I and my constitution"

You absolutely get to. Planes are operated at profit - "me, myself an I" for a private corporation.


I'm not sure I'm convinced the FAA's claim to airspace above private property is unconstitutional. Just as there's not a lot of precedent firmly establishing the FAA's purview in low altitude airspace, there's also not much precedent that land ownership conveys a right to airspace usage beyond the right to place structures upon the land that happen to occupy that airspace. Further, there's a clear parallel here to the FCC's purview over EM spectrum usage that does have significantly more precedent backing it, so I would expect that to set the groundwork for any future case law on the airspace matter.

In any case, it's an area that certainly needs much greater clarity than there is today.


Such as?

The Supreme Court in UNITED STATES v. CAUSBY says "The landowner owns at least as much of the space above the ground as the can occupy or use in connection with the land" They say nothing about structures being the only use, in fact they implicitly say in the ruling "The fact that he does not occupy it in a physical sense—by the erection of buildings and the like—is not material."

In that case the Supreme Court held that a plane flying at an altitude of 83ft violated the property rights of the land owner. It should not be much of a stretch to then claim the FAA regulating my use of airspace 0-83ft is an unconstitutional taking.

Even today I believe the FAA Navigable Airspace starts at 500ft above ground elevation.

It would be an interesting case if ever made it to the supreme court, I dont think the FAA's position is as strong as you believe it to be


You might be right. But this isn't about who has control. It's about making sure drone operators know where their wild-west airspace ends and the FAAs begins. How many people have purchased a drone and decided to see how high they could go without even knowing there are rules about that? The point isn't to track you or regulate you, it's to make sure you've at least read the rules even if you have no intention of flying beyond your back yard.


it seems we approach government power and the role of government from inverse positions

Your post seems to have the connotation of a "guilty until proven innocent" type of world view, where I must prove that I would not be a danger to others or would not fly a drone outside of my own back yard

That is not what I would consider a free society, I do not need to prove I will refrain from harming others in order to engage in a transaction to buy something, there are all kinds of every day products that could be (and have been) used in very violent ways, we do not have regulations on their sale.

In a free society a government needs a clear, articulable reasonable suspicion that an individual is going to cause harm to others. Not just a general suspicion that someone somewhere may cause harm. An application of general suspicion would not be a free society but rather an extremely Authoritarian society


It follows because you may be taking off from private land but you're operating in federal airspace (all airspace is federal in the US)


All airspace? Not even airspace above, say, 500 feet?

Am I literally walking through federal airspace right now?

The U.S. Constitution is pretty explicit about physical space that is allocated to the federal government and the reasons (post offices and post roads, military installations, and that's about it), so laying claim to every square inch of "air" above that land seems to be quite a stretch.


Yes, all airspace. If you're out walking, driving, or erecting a structure, you're entitled to its usage provided you're not creating an air navigation hazard. The general understanding is that you're entitled to airspace on your property, and to a limited extent on the property of others, insofar as the usage of that airspace is necessary to use the land itself. Flying anything is not, from a legal and regulatory perspective, understood to be a usage related to the land itself.

This issue has been settled for quite some time in US law. The main grey areas that exist are debates over what sorts of exceptions should be made for reasonable use of UAV/drones at low altitudes.


I've always wondered about the edge conditions.

Would flying a drone indoors require permission from FAA? What about a daredevil jump on a motorcycle?


As long as there's a roof, you can fly whatever you want indoors without the FAA's interference.

As for airborne ground vehicles - it's difficult to imagine a situation where it would legitimately be a concern, which is why it's a grey area :)


I'm actually in the UK and it appears until relatively recently, the CAA did assert control over indoor airspace. But recently they've relaxed the rules and said if there's no possiblity of escape, you can do what you want.

That does mean technically that if you're flying a drone indoors, the legality depends on how wide you open the windows.


I didn't know about the shark fishing one. That's neat. Does that include tourists that hire a charter, or is it for the charter captains themselves?


Looked it up and it’s only for shore based shark fishing because you’re taking the shark out of the water.[1]

In some states the Captain’s fishing license will cover everyone on board for most types of fishing (including sharks) in state waters, except certain Tuna IIRC based on federal laws/permits.

[1] https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/2...


This is inline with recent changes in Australia. Here, there is an in-person training/accreditation process (costs a few thousand dollars) required for large drones and flying near controlled aerodromes, etc. Otherwise, you undertake a very simple online test that is just about impossible to get wrong. I dislike many impositions but it's not taxing at all for anyone making money with their drone.

There'd be virtually no checks/enforcement though. I have flown thousands of times and never been chased up over anything. I know 10+ commercial drone operators and only one of them has ever been queried about his flying, and that was by marine parks authorities because they thought he'd flown in a conservation area (he knew the area very well and was a couple of metres outside it...).


[flagged]


Remind me in which way the licensing/permitting process for drones is at all similar to the licensing/permitting process for a nuclear reactor. I'm certain that a nuclear reactor takes much more than a 30 minute course to operate.


The requirements for nuclear plant operators are quite a bit more burdensome than the new rules for drone operation. Flying a drone doesn't even require a drug test! Not the same at all.


Can't reply to parent, so I'll add my response here to illustrate what "quite a bit more burdensome" looks like.

I don't know the requirements for operating a nuclear reactor, but here's the requirements to operate a water treatment plant:

* A degree in engineering, environmental engineering, chemistry, physics from an accredited school.

* Pass a licensing exam

* For operating larger plants, a minimum of X years experience working at smaller plants first.

* After getting your license, you're required to have N hours of continuing education requirements before you can renew your license. Something like 10 hours / year.


This applies to ALL drones, including ones under 250g that don't need to be registered.


The course can be found here [1]. The FAA designated 16 organizations to make materials for it, and we can take it from any one of them.. I look forward to reviews comparing them and finding the best one.

[1] https://www.faa.gov/uas/recreational_fliers/knowledge_test_u...


I just did this one in about 20 mins after seeing this post: https://trust.dronelaunchacademy.com/

It was genuinely helpful to understand the regulations and the multiple choice test was easy. It did not however create a certificate so I did a pdf screenshot to save on gdrive in case I need it sometime later.


I might as well as an off topic questions here:

1. I recently moved and now have a sizable chunk of land attached to a much larger sized chunk of city-owned land which includes a huge open field. Seems like the perfect place to fly a drone. Will it be fun doing this or is this a thing that I would get bored from shortly after dropping serious money on it?

2. Are drones that follow you any good? Would love to do a video of myself riding a motorcycle while a drone follows me.

3. Any recommendations for a good beginner drone that isn’t $1000?


I think of my drone less as something fun to do, and more as a flying camera. Photography can be fun, but it involves a bit of planning. You will most likely get bored of flying in the same location over and over.


3) get a tiny-whoop style micro. They are generally under the weight requirement around a 100 bucks but are super great platform to learn on.

They don't have all the fancy stabilization and idiot proofing that you might get with a dji style drone, these drone types came more from the RC/Racing community.


This is great news. About a month ago a scofflaw drone pilot wiped out an entire generation of elegant terns: https://news.yahoo.com/generation-seabirds-wiped-drone-o-110...

More training and harsher penalties need to be proportional to the amount of damage recreational flyers can do.


I'm not sure how this changes that. The fact is that pilot was already flying in an area where it was not allowed and already in violation of current law. You can't really legislate your way out of this.


Is there a reason that someone couldn’t do the same damage just running around among the terns’ nests?


It's significantly more work to run around the nest, and it requires more intentionality than piloting a drone and being stupid about it. There's also usually signage warning you to not do the running-through-the-nest thing.

For obvious reasons, we can't hang warning signs in the air.

I have my doubts that a license will prevent people from doing stupid things, but that is (at least part of) the reasoning for having a license - so the government can say "told you so".

It's on par with immigration forms asking you if you're planning to be a terrorist. It's a useless question, but it establishes a paper trail that somebody has told you not to do that.

It's like rooted in Lambert v. California, which stated that you can't convict a person of violating a law if there was no probability they could've know the law existed. A question, or a sign, or a license establishes that there is a probability.


There's also no question or sign indicating that you have to take a drone license course, effective immediately. How would someone even find out about this new regulation? By hanging out on hacker news waiting for it?


> There's also usually signage warning you to not do the running-through-the-nest thing.

"No drones, no dogs, and no bikes. Those are the posted rules in the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in Huntington Beach." https://laist.com/news/climate-environment/after-thousands-o...

Indeed, licences won't stop stupidity but they do help establish penalties.


Current law already has penalties.


That sounds terrible, but "more education" won't, and never will, change attitudes or behavior. Psychopaths will always do what they want. Going Big Mother on a particular sport for the actions of a few independent persons doesn't address anything other than destroy that sport. Wishful thinking does nothing.


Education is aimed at people who are well-intentioned but unaware, which is a vastly larger population than those who are intentionally causing harm.

How will requiring people to take a 30 minute class "destroy the sport"?


Really, this seems like an effort to save "the sport". If a few people keep doing enough damage with these things, or generally behaving like jackasses, they're gonna receive a lot more regulation than just requiring a brief class, guaranteed.


Psychopaths will not do bad things, if they fear real consequences.

The course is very simple but basically a reminder of the rules. Now potential violaters are more aware of it. Combine that with real consequences - and the number of idiots flying close to airports or peoples bedrooms will get lower.


Most drone “pilots” aren’t psychopaths. They just might not realize the hazards of flying their drone without airspace awareness.


A few bad apples spoil the barrel, eh?

Twice now I've had drones flying over my house with the operators nowhere to be found. I wouldn't mind so much if I could find the operator and ask them not to fly over my house but I can't. That's the fundamental problem with drone: the asymmetry.


You do know you don't own the airspace over your house, right? The drone operator is operating within the law and you do not have a right to talk to them.

I'd stop flying over your place, but I have friends who would laugh and tell you to pound sand - then they'd fly over your place a few more times for fun.

Remote ID won't solve this either, it doesn't apply to drones <250g. You're going to have to just deal with it.


> You do know you don't own the airspace over your house, right? The drone operator is operating within the law and you do not have a right to talk to them.

A landowner in the United States owns the air space above their land up to the height that the FAA has classified as Navigable Airspace in that area, generally either 500ft or 1000ft. Flying over someone’s property below that height is trespassing, and after a good faith effort to identify the trespasser and inform them to stop trespassing, the landowner is entitled to destroy the drone (for example with buckshot) or report the trespassing to the police for investigation.


> A landowner in the United States owns the air space above their land up to the height that the FAA has classified as Navigable Airspace in that area, generally either 500ft or 1000ft.

> the landowner is entitled to destroy the drone (for example with buckshot) or report the trespassing to the police for investigation.

Citation?

> But today the FAA in response to my questioning confirmed that shooting down a drone is a federal crime and cited 18 USC 32. That statute makes it a felony to damage or destroy an aircraft.[1]

> the statute also prohibits interfering with anyone "engaged in the authorized operation of such aircraft" and carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. Since drones are considered aircraft, threatening a drone or a drone operator, according to Ms. Alkalay, would also be a federal crime subject to five years in prison under this same statute.[1]

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/johngoglia/2016/04/13/faa-confi...


From the cited (18 U.S.C. 32):

> Amendments to 18 U.S.C. § 32 enacted in 1984 expand United States jurisdiction over aircraft sabotage to include destruction of any aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States or any civil aircraft used, operated or employed in interstate, overseas, or foreign air commerce.

The special aircraft jurisdiction in question requires the aircraft to be “in flight”, where the definition of “in flight” oddly enough depends on the aircraft having “doors”.[1]

A plain reading of the statute indicates that it does not apply to unmanned aircraft unless they are engaged in interstate commerce. But I am not a lawyer.

> engaged in the authorized operation of such aircraft

Perpetrating a crime like criminal trespass or harassment is by definition not an authorized operation of any aircraft.

An FAA advisory on the topic [2] claims broad authority to supersede local regulation, but is careful to refer only to “navigable airspace”, and notes that

> Laws traditionally related to state and local police power – including land use, zoning, privacy, trespass, and law enforcement operations – generally are not subject to federal regulation.

I should have been more careful in my wording in the above comment. What you can and cannot do to a trespassing unmanned drone operating below the navigable airspace ceiling on your property is going to depend on the applicable state and local laws. For example, most municipalities have laws against use of firearms within city limits.

[1] https://www.justice.gov/archives/jm/criminal-resource-manual...

[2] https://www.faa.gov/uas/resources/policy_library/media/UAS_F...


> If you fly over private property, this is trespassing, and you can receive a punishment of up to $2,500 in fines. If it’s a second-time offense or more, you can actually face jail time in addition to large fines. If you use your drone to harass someone, the victim can file a restraining order against you. Again, drone laws by state can be quite different, this is strictly California’s regulations.

https://www.thedronelogic.com/drone-laws-by-state/california...

> Keep your drone within sight. If you use First Person View or similar technology, you must have a visual observer always keep your drone within unaided sight (for example, no binoculars).

https://www.faa.gov/news/fact_sheets/news_story.cfm?newsId=2...

> The drone operator is operating within the law

No. I checked and the law is that they must be within line-of-sight. These two drone were both flying all over a residential neighborhood and the operators aren't in line-of-sight.

> you do not have a right to talk to them.

That makes no sense. Of course I have a right to talk to anyone.

> I have friends who would laugh and tell you to pound sand - then they'd fly over your place a few more times for fun.

Then we would have a serious problem.

> You're going to have to just deal with it.

No one wants that.


This exact attitude is why public opinion is turning against privately-owned drones.


You will by 2023 when all drones need to have Remote ID transmitters installed, which shows the drone location, bearing and speed as well as the location of the controller. Mine already has it.

https://www.engadget.com/faa-final-drone-rule-dates-18453896...


Thanks for the tip. It's a start.

But I don't see how this would work for me in the situation I described. Would I call the police or the FAA or what?

> Remote ID helps the FAA, law enforcement, and other federal agencies find the control station when a drone appears to be flying in an unsafe manner or where it is not allowed to fly.

> Authorized individuals from public safety organizations may request identity of the drone's owner from the FAA.

https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started/remote_id/


You'd call either.

Just like if there is other suspected illegal activity, you contact the branch of gov't that handles it and not involve yourself. If you see someone speeding, it's not legal to speed to catch them. You call the cops and let them deal with it.

Personally I don't see this working at all, or at least won't have much of an effect. Most drone pilots aren't sitting there for hours in the same place waiting to get caught, especially if they are knowingly doing something bad. They usually fly for 15-30 minutes and go somewhere else. By the time the cops/faa get to you, the drone, pilot and all their "remote id" data are long gone. In a lot of major US cities, cops aren't even responding to anything but the most serious of crimes due to budget cuts and personnel shortages. I don't see how they will even have the time to follow up given the list of priorities they have, maybe unless the report included a weapon mounted on the drone (which has happened). And people intent on breaking the law just won't register or get a drone with Remote ID anyway. They'd build their own (it's a fun hobby and how all this drone stuff got started to begin with - the first ones just used arduinos with appropriate sensors [see ardupilot project]) or use some of the millions already in existence built in the last 15 years that don't have the capability.


Thanks for the information. I really appreciate it.

Both of these drones were flown multiple times (five or six times per month) over dense residential areas. I doubt these folks were serious scoff-laws, just inconsiderate. Like I said, I wouldn't mind so much if I could see and talk to the operators. I like drones and I have seven or eight myself.


I mimic the top comment here. I used to be an aerial photographer in the Northeast about 7ish years ago when drones were still relatively new. You still had to build you own back then, you couldn't just BUY them.

The regulations were super confusing. I even had cop sending me an email in case I ever needed anything, but I'm pretty sure at the time I wasn't really supposed to be flying because I didn't have a license. Regardless, regulations were ridiculously confusing so it's nice to see some clarity after all these years.


The test is easier than a full part-107 exam and I was able to finish mine in less than half an hour for free. The FAA did the right thing by making the test free to take. If there were any fees involved, it would hinder adoption and work against FAA’s goal. Some might see the test as another thing to do, but making it free really does have a lower barrier of entry, and is a necessary step in the right direction which could’ve easily gone wrong if a fee was involved.


OP here. The original title was not really wrong nor misleading, however I'm not opposed to it changing.

Prior to TRUST, you did NOT need a license to fly any drones for recreational purposes.

The FAA has had Part 107 in place for a while, which is a drone license, but only needed if you fly drones for commercial purposes.

Now we have both. Part 107 for commercial drone flying. TRUST for recreational drone flying. I'm not opposed to either, and given that the TRUST test is very easy, I don't see any downside.


... and yet I can buy an AR-15 and ammunition with no such requirements.


I don’t recall ever having a near-miss with an AR-15 when on final approach. But I and many other pilots that fly frequently have many stories of drone near-misses.

How many legal AR-15 owners are shooting at airplanes? How many drone “pilots” have interfered with air traffic? Drone incursions are a very big deal. Not a single case I have ever heard of in the US where an AR-15 has brought down an airplane.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_UAV-related_incident...


Speaking about AR-15s bringing down airplanes is a false equivalence-- it would be more apt to compare drone incursions to incidents from negligent discharge or improper gun storage.


They need to put drones in the constitution.


Effective immediately: You need a license before you can throw an American football in the US because it might break a window.

How many decades were R/C planes and helicopters operating without a problem? Instead of police work, it's collective punishment with privacy invasion and barriers as the answer to salve MIC-generated paranoia. Firearms aren't even tracked this absurdly.


Many decades. My grandfather was an avid RC aircraft enthusiast.

They are simply not comparable to the drones that are being sold nowadays. 30, 40 years ago, RC aircraft were a seriously difficult and expensive hobby to get into. You generally had to build the plane yourself, including fitting the electronics and servicing the gasoline engine. They were huge and difficult to fly, too, so, after putting in all that investment, you generally wouldn't even consider flying it yourself without finding a mentor in the hobby to show you how it's done. And you'd generally have to do it out of an RC airstrip that was operated by an RC aviation club that was very interested in self-policing. Hijinks would get you kicked out.

So, yeah, 30, 40 years ago you didn't need something like this, because it was not a, "Some grandparent trying to Win Christmas can just blow $200 at Wal-Mart and give one of these to a 4-year-old," kind of thing. There were some much-needed barriers to entry back then. Nowadays apparently any idiot can have one, and yes, it is creating a legitimate problem. A couple years back I almost took a drone to the face when someone was whizzing it around at night, with the light off, trying to startle passersby for laughs. Thankfully I took it to the shoulder instead.


Ironically enough, this is what drove me into real airplanes. As a kid, did the line and rc models. Very easy to turn hundreds of hours of build time into... trash. The cost of the better RC stuff was darn near what you might spend on an ultra light for manned flying. It is amazing how cheap drones became (and the corresponding... how much general aviation has gotten to be).


This doesn't fit with my experience at all. They were somewhat expensive, yes, but only a bit more than a nice Lego set (which I got for Christmas one year). I don't even know if there was an aviation club nearby, but there were tons of RC airplane people that would just launch from their lawns.


Perhaps ironically, these very regulations are killing the "hobby" side of things.

I've built several FPV quadcopter, from ~1" all the way up to 11" (based on the size of the props). I've invested thousands of dollars in the hobby, countless hours, and have even fulfilled the HAM radio requirements.

The existing VLOS rules make it effectively illegal to fly them outdoors, period. Now, with this? No thanks. I'm done trying to fulfill arbitrary and ineffective requirements. I'll just fly my quads on my own property and if someone in a helicopter or a hang glider decides to dip below the treeline to fly under the power lines in my field, that's on them I guess.


[flagged]


The US has basically non-existent gun regulation by developed world standards. Go compare the gun violence rates in the US with any country that actually regulates guns.


>America has an 18 to one advantage over Brazil in the number of guns, yet proportionally, Brazil suffers six times more deaths by guns than America.

>In Brazil, all firearms must be registered with the state. Minimum age for owning a gun is 25 and restrictions make it virtually impossible to have a carry permit. Owners must pay a $40 tax every three years. As a result of these and other restrictions, it is very difficult to own a gun in Brazil much less carry one.

https://www.tfp.org/what-about-gun-violence-in-brazil/


The data are high variance, so you can't just pick individual cases and then only look at selected facets of them. That's classic cherry picking.

You've got to look at large scale trends if you want to see a large scale pattern, and, if you want to dig into the particulars, you need to look at all the particulars. For example, that article you cite fails to consider the different levels of organized crime between the two countries. Perhaps because including that detail might necessitate acknowledging that Brazil and the USA have different gun crime problems with different causes that might therefore require different responses.


"Go compare the gun violence rates in the US with any country that actually regulates guns."


Given that the first sentence mentioned developed nations I figured it was clear I meant any developed nation. Furthermore, regulates guns generally means actually regulates guns and not "has laws for regulating guns." The two are not the same except in countries that have stable governments, enough money to pay for law enforcement and low amounts of corruption. Unless you actually believe the state of the US government and economy is akin to that of a country like Brazil?


Brazil has the world's 9th largest GDP. Does this look like an undeveloped country:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%A3o_Paulo


Depends if you live in this part of Sao Paulo or not:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Favela

Brazil is around the 80th in terms of per capita GDP which is a much saner metric for the wealth of a country in terms of social issues.


"Basically non-existent [sic]" like backgrounds checks.

How would nanny state regulations work or be comparable when Americans already possess many guns? Cow / barn door.


You made an implicit argument that regulation doesn't work, I simply pointed out that it does in many many place.

You now argue that it doesn't work because the item being regulated is in wide spread possession. Drones are not. Thus by your own chain of reasoning it is perfectly reasonable to enforce very strong regulations NOW if we wish to have any chance of managing drones.

I guess, thank you for making such a great argument for strong regulation from the onset.


That's perhaps a true fact, but also, maybe a bit of a rhetorical own goal?

I don't think that the gun lobby having been so successful at achieving a sort of crony capitalist vendor lock-in with the American public implies in any way that this is a good thing, which is what you'd have to demonstrate for this analogy to really help the case you're trying to present.

I mean, if you're trying to say that regulation doesn't work, then pointing out that the the gun lobby has secured laws that severely limit firearm regulation in the USA, so now Americans already own a lot of guns and shoot each other a lot and there's nothing that can be done about it anymore, is perhaps doing more to illustrate the case that you're trying to argue against.


> now Americans already own a lot of guns and shoot each other a lot

Your analysis of the data may vary, but:

Between 1998 and 2019, there have been more than 391,897,875 background checks for gun purchases in the U.S.[1].

It is unknown which of those were for rifles; it is also unknown what percentage of those background checks were for multiple firearm purchases in a single transactions.

The AR-15 is the most popular rifle by far, so it seems entirely plausible that there are perhaps vastly more than 100 million AR-15's in private ownership in the U.S. (An interesting point is that it is rather unlikely that most people would be so unwise as to advertise ownership.) (Of note, there is no legal definition of assault rifle, and the "AR" in AR-15 stands for Armalite, one of the first manufacturers of the AR-15.)

In total, less than 400 killings (including murders, self-defense, suicide etc) per year committed with all types of rifles[2]. (In fact, more people are killed each year with blunt objects like clubs, hammers, etc.)

Those who wish to increase ownership of handguns would do well to note that many, many people in the U.S. own handguns for personal defense, and a very tiny fraction are used for killing in any given year. By far the largest handgun numbers are from people taking their own lives, and most of the others are from criminal activities, typically in large cities. Those criminal activities are committed by people who, by definition, do not obey the law.

This is obviously a politically fraught topic; just wanted to provide some actual, if somewhat surprising, data. Again, your analysis and politics may vary, but that's the data.

1. https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/nics_firearm_checks_-_mo...

2. https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2019/crime-in-the-u.s.-...


Why do you consider it unwise to advertise ownership of an AR-15? Why would anyone care? Where I live the response would be "cool, can I shoot it next range trip"


Depending on where you live in the country, you might experience any of the following things:

1. social response / cancel culture

2. theft

3. legal liability


(Sorry, too late to edit.. I meant "increase regulation of handguns" in case the mistake wasn't obvious)


"the gun lobby has secured laws that severely limit firearm regulation in the USA"

The gun lobbies didn't secure laws that severely limit firearm regulation. They didn't have to. It was enumerated as the 2nd amendment in our constitution - and for damn good reasons.

The difference between the American and French Revolutions - the American Revolution started from the place that the people have all rights and our constitution restricts governments ability to infringe upon those inalienable rights. The French Revolution came from the perspective of the states rights and in turn grants rights to the people. I think I prefer the former over the latter.


Given the events of the last year and the historical opposition of groups like the NRA to minorities having gun access I feel the greatest threat to continuing free democracy in the US (for everyone) is not the government but the same group that owns the majority of guns.


What's the "[sic]" for? I don't see an error.


Not commenting on whether the regulation is helpful or reasonable, but quadcopters are in practice different, pretty clearly.

I lived a long time before quadcopters became A Thing. I drive by a place (empty, rural field) where sometimes people fly R/C 'copters and airplanes. Lived lots of places. Nonetheless I bet I've seen at least 3x as many quadcopters in my life as other R/C aircraft, almost all in the last 6 or 7 years. I'm not sure I've ever seen those traditional R/C aircraft flying in a neighborhood, or out in a public area, or a small public park (not one with acres of empty space). Maybe a helicopter once? While that's the only place I see quadcopters. Indoors, at parks, at outdoor gatherings of all kinds, weddings, trails, everywhere.

Whether this difference warrants the regulation, I dunno, but there clearly is a difference.


I'm on the opposite end of experience than you and find a drone is often unpredictable in its flight. I just got a small (DJI Mini 2) drone in March and have been learning and flying as a recreational flyer as often as weather and time permits. According to the logs I have flown a mere 8 hours and 40 odd miles over 40 some flights. This small drone is easy to move quickly in nearly all directions while having 4 swiftly rotating blades that do not care what they touch and with no easy way to avoid. Wind gusts over 20 mph (easy to find over even just 75ft) can cause the craft to struggle to control, much less move in the direction intended.

Not to mention while I paid the smart sum of $600 for my kit (a high bar for many to spend on getting started in a hobby), DJI now has an even more approachable model at $299. Making the ability to get into the hobby more accessible is great, but it does come with a greater risk of even well-intentioned but under-educated people (or just knuckleheads) sending a drone up for a quick flight and smashing into someone/something without even reading the manual.

I'm a pretty cautious guy. I took a MSF course before buying a motorcycle, wear a helmet and gear, etc. I was very careful on my first few flights with my drone, but even then managed to crash into a stationary bird house. All this to say I am happy to take a simple test to prove to myself, much less those around me, that I know what the heck I'm doing and to keep myself and others safe because these things are very different from model aircraft and most consumer electronics that include a camera and gyroscopes. :)


20+ years ago when I flew models as a kid, the various clubs all required an AMA membership and a certain amount of flight time with a trainer. Seems like the hobby self-regulated a bit more back then.


I had similar thoughts, you don't need a permit to buy a gun but your kids need one if they want to fly their small toy drone, well that makes totally sense :D


When a football brings down an airplane, then we can have that discussion. Don’t know anyone throwing footballs at 500 feet in the approach course of an airport. There has to be a level of common sense involved in this discussion.

As far as the decades where R/C planes operated without a problem, you didn’t have millions of people flying those things. You also didn’t have the readily-available ability to fly them outside of line of sight.


RC car owners will also be required to have a state issued drivers license.


Unlike drones, the average RC car doesn't carry a risk of killing/maiming people when they drop out of the air at near-terminal velocity. If a bus hits your RC car, at worst it gets a scratch or dent before the RC car is destroyed. Even a tiny drone, on the other hand, could easily take out a prop or turbine on an aircraft and lead to the death of the occupants or bystanders.


I don't get how people in this thread are failing to see that this is reactive, and pulling out ridiculous examples as equivalencies. Guess what? If people driving RC cars started causing problems like drones are, those would be regulated too. "Well next they'll require a license for RC cars, or lawn mowers!" Well... yeah, they will, if enough people cause serious-enough problems in public with those.


... and yet gun laws never seem to get any harsher...


Get one of the two major political parties to adopt protecting the right to fly drones as an unquestionable and heavily-promoted plank of their platform, then throw many millions of dollars behind interest groups supporting that message and activity, and the same thing will happen there. Oh, and maybe get an amendment passed about it.

Guns are special in America.


They’re pretty harsh already. Shoot someone with a gun and you can spend 20+ years in prison. Assuming a district attorney does their jobs.


This is just to build a national database of drone users right?


You already have to register your drone after purchase.


You only need to register with the FAA for drones that weigh over 250g.

https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started/register_drone/


You only need to register knives longer than 2".

is still an absolutely absurd imposition.


Not absurd at all. There are good reasons for it. People don't throw knives outside in random directions—nor do they "malfunction" in the way an electronic device can. Nor do knives require a manual to understand how to use them.

At some point, a line does need to be drawn. Drones can be dangerous in unpredictable ways, outside of the control of the operator.


No you don't. You were required to register once as an operator, but the same ID number can be placed on any number of drones.

I have been building & flying for about 6 years now, personally I don't bother with any of this stuff. Instead I just follow what should be common sense rules and have yet to have any issues.


more likely it's so there's a legal ability to prevent someone from flying drones around if they are causing problems


How Orwellian /s


This is worrying. The FAA was never created to regulate drones. Hobbyist pilots have been safely flying RC planes for decades. We need to return regulatory power to legislators, not unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats. Another example is the FCC- an agency created to regulate radio is now attempting to regulate internet service providers!


They were created to regulate airspace and when you have people flying drones into planes and helicopters at airports then someone needs to step in.


If someone wants to intentionally fly a drone into restricted airspace, this will not stop them.

Furthermore, your claims about the FAA being created to restrict airspace is revisonist at best.

https://www.faa.gov/about/history/brief_history/


So it is not revisionist. Airspace rules, in large part, is what creates the safety. And of course it is not going to stop malicious people. But it will create cooperation so accidents risk is reduced and it allows for one to be punished if they disregard the rules and are caught.

It is against the law for people to play on the Interstate highway and I am sure you would have a problem with it if it wasn't and some kids decided to go build a fort in the middle of one.


The FAA grew out of the Air Commerce Act of 1926 to ensure commercial development of aviation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_government_role_...


How are recreational drone pilots “commercial aviation”?




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