1.FAA does control all the airspace from the ground up, including airspace below 400 feet.
2.Commercial UAS flights are not ok over private property even if below 400 feet. Commercial operation of drones requires a certified aircraft, a licensed pilot and operating approval.
3.Commercial operation of drones is not a gray area of FAA regulations. All aircraft – manned or unmanned – must have some type of FAA approval. (Model aircraft flown as a hobby or for recreational purposes are excepted but must be operated in accordance with model aircraft guidelines and away from populated areas.)
4.The FAA has a number of enforcement tools to stop unauthorized commercial drone operations and it does not believe there are too many operations for it to stop.
5.Commercial UAS operations will not be ok after September 30, 2015 – unless the FAA issues appropriate regulations. The FAA states that it expects to publish a proposed rule for small drones – those under 55 pounds – later this year which is likely to include provisions for commercial operations.
6.The FAA disputes that it is lagging behind other countries in its commercial approval of drones.
7.FAA’s 30,000 drones by 2030 prediction is outdated and the agency now predicts as many as 7500 small commercial UAS by 2018, assuming the necessary regulations are in place. This figure may be updated when new rules are proposed later this year.
Posted March 6th, 2014 @ 8:43am