Tags Posts tagged with "Law"

Law

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As soon as this holiday season

Soon, the FAA will force U.S drone owners to register their UAVs after quite a few incidents around airports this year.

The Department of Transportation took the first step on October 19 by announcing the formation of a task force to create a registration process.

Small drones weighing less than 55 pounds have been an increasing safety concern for years. According to the FAA pilots reported unsafe activity by UAVs about 100 times a month, in 2015 alone. Last August, two airliners flying over the New York City area each reported passing within 100 feet of drones.

“We require car registration to ensure safety and accountability, and we should do the same for drones,” said Sen. Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts in a statement.

 

Drones that fly too close to aircraft can easily be sucked into a jet engine, or crash a cockpit window.

But the safety hazards are not only found near airports.

Drones crashed last month at two sporting events, too. ON at theU.S. Open tennis tournament and another one at a University of Kentucky football game.

Five drones prevented California firefighters from dispatching helicopters for up to 20 minutes over a wildfire that roared onto a Los Angeles-area freeway in July this year. The Choppers could not drop water because the five drones hovered over the blaze.

The task force will be made up of 25 to 30 diverse representatives of drone manufacturers, manned aviation industries, the federal government, and other stakeholders,” said the DOT.

The task force has a good deal of work before them as quite a few questions remain unanswered. It is still unclear which drones will need to be registered and which will be classed as toys. Unanswered is how the registration will be enforced, too.

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A new bill introduced by U.S. Senators Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey, and John Hoeven, a Republican from North Dakota will look to establish temporary rules to regulate and manage the emerging commercial drone industry.

On Tuesday 12th of may 2015 the Commercial UAS Modernization Act, a bill that will set guidelines for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or UAVs) was unveiled.

The widespread commercial use of UAVs is currently banned by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Currently, businesses have to apply for exemptions to operate drones on a case-by-base basis.

It is expected that it could take several years to establish permanent rules.

Read the full text of the proposed bill

Full text of the UAS Modernization Act of 2015. Proposed by Cory Booker and John Hoeven.

The new bill plans to create a deputy administrator position for the integration of unmanned aircraft, which will report to the head of the FAA and the Secretary of Transportation, and also suggests that the FAA establish an aeronautical test to license drone pilots.

The proposal comes as a response to the often lamented slowness in which the regulating bodies are dealing with the new technology.

Some might remember Amazon’s vice president of global public policy, Paul Misener complaining at a senate subcommittee hearing in March 2015:

“We innovated so rapidly that the UAS approved last week by the FAA has become obsolete. We don’t test it anymore. We’ve moved on to more advanced designs that we already are testing abroad.”

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Internal US military documents obtained by obtained by The Intercept and the German magazine “Der Spiegel” outlets show that US drones of the Reaper and Predator class are being controlled in the US Air Force base in Ramstein, Germany.

As the Spiegel writes, the German government is chosing to ignore the signs and simply repeat the official line. German article

[The US] conducts operational level planning, monitoring and assessment of assigned airpower missions throughout Europe and Africa [at Ramstein]  “but does not directly fly or control any manned or remotely piloted aircraft. -Maj. James Brindle  

The US military files show Ramstein as a central hub in between the drone pilots in Nevada and target areas in Somanlia or Yemen.

While the German government might not have a lot of leeway to challenge the US, continuing to feign ignorance might prove to be embarrassing to the CDU government. Already, several parties are calling for intervention by the German Federal Attorney General, such as the Green Party and the SPD. (Article in German)