Several companies, including Amazon, want to use commercial drones, but there have been too many restrictions to make it a reality. These drones could change the farming, military, transportation, logistics, and public safety industries. That’s why the government has decided to lift some restrictions on commercial drones and create regulations to protect peoples’ safety and privacy.
President Obama understands that commercial drones have potentially beneficial uses and could play a “transformative role” in improving peoples’ lives. At the beginning of February 2015, he gave the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) 90 days to start drafting guidelines. The goal is to create privacy and safety regulations before commercial drones are in widespread use. For instance, the FAA wants to require a special pilot certification.
Currently, the FAA bans all commercial drones. Only a few companies have been offered waivers. Lots of companies want waivers to start building and using commercial drones, but new regulations are still two to three years off. That’s because it will take time for the FAA’s proposal to be approved by Congress. Plus, there needs to be a formal public comment period. All of the comments will also need to be addressed before regulations are finalized.
FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said, “We have tried to be flexible in writing these rules. We want to maintain today’s outstanding level of aviation safety without placing an undue regulatory burden on an emerging industry.” However, the public must recocgnize that it will take time and revisions.
Besides special certification, pilots must also remain in the line of sight of their drone at all times. This means that delivering packages and inspecting under bridges will not be allowed without spotters in strategic places. The FAA wants to maintain the safety and privacy of consumers from drones at all times.