Near Misses Lead to More Drone Legislation

Consumer Drone Safety Act would require manufacturers to retrofit existing consumer drones to meet certain safety precautions, including maximum height for flight and any restricted flying zones.

Photo Caption: An increasing number of near misses between drones and airplanes has led to the Consumer Drone Safety Act, which would put precautions in place to minimize the risk of a mid-air collision or crash to the ground.

Feinstein referenced a number of drone-related incidents that she said “strongly indicate that drones are much more dangerous than manned aircraft to other aircraft and to people on the ground.”

“I urge that you increase your enforcement efforts against violations of law by unauthorized drone operators. I further ask that you decline to issue Certificates of Authorization or exemptions for any UAV unless you are confident that the aircraft will be operated safely.”

Supporters of the Consumer Drone Safety Act

The Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA), which represents more than 8,000 pilots of Southwest Airlines, came out in support of the bill, saying it’s “committed to helping Senator Feinstein get the Drone Safety Act signed into law.”

“It is clear that hobbyist drone operators are not complying with the FAA’s guidance on the safe operation of unmanned aerial systems, which is why the Drone Safety Act is necessary,” SWAPA says in a statement. “This forward-thinking legislation protects the safety of the flying public while taking the onus off of novice drone hobbyists to learn, understand and follow complex airspace rules. At the same time, the Feinstein Bill helps establish clear rules for hobbyist drone manufacturers to help ensure their products don’t end up risking collision with a commercial airliner or other aircraft.

The National Association of Broadcasters is also supporting the bill by saying this legislation “strikes the right balance by imposing meaningful guidelines on recreational use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Broadcasters take seriously our role as ‘first informers’ and believe UAVs hold great potential in improving newsgathering capabilities at local stations.”




About the Author

Steve Crowe · Steve Crowe is managing editor of Robotics Trends. Steve has been writing about technology since 2008. He lives in Belchertown, MA with his wife and daughter.
Contact Steve Crowe: scrowe@ehpub.com  ·  View More by Steve Crowe.




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Article Topics

Robot Fun · Drones · News · All Topics


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