As a resident of California, I was disappointed to learn of Dianne Feinstein’s new bill that could severely hamper the growth of the drone industry. The bill, a response to 190 UAV related incidents, could introduce a number of new requirements that drone manufacturers would have to contend with.
We all know of California being the hub of new technology and innovation. Silicon Valley has time and again graced us with new inventions that have made life much easier. However, as far as the common usage of drones is concerned, that’s a matter that will have to wait. California’s Senator Dianne Feinstein has put forward a bill that may halt the drone manufacturing process in its tracks.
Upon being pressuring by Feinstein, the FAA released some data that indicated 190 incidents occurred during a 9 month period where unauthorized drones were spotted by people from the general aviation community. These drones were not supposed to be flying in certain places and as many as 12 of these drones almost faced a mid-air collision. So in response to these incidents, Feinstein introduced the Consumer Drone Safety Act. This places the burden on drone manufacturers to incorporate strict federal safety laws in regards to consumer drones.
What sort of limitations are we talking about?
The new regulations set forth by authorities would require drones to have a wide range of technologies such as collision-avoidance features, geo-fencing capability, a GPS that gives the aircraft’s location, and an anti-tampering feature that will prevent users from changing the way the drone works.
Inevitably, the cost for these technologies would be passed on to the purchaser.
“If we don’t act now, it’s only a matter of time before we have a tragedy on our hands,” Senator Feinstein said. “Consumer drones are a new technology. They can fly thousands of feet in the air and jeopardize air travel, but the FAA can only regulate them if they are used for commercial purposes. That loophole must be closed.”
“The reports of dangerous operations and near misses are only increasing. From incidents at LAX to La Guardia to the Golden Gate Bridge, the risk is clear. It is time to close the gaps in FAA’s authorities to protect the public safety and keep our skies safe.”