The idea of drone delivery is being pushed by both Amazon and Google, but if they get their way, what will the impact be for the rest of the drone industry?
One of the world’s largest consumer drone makers says it’s concerned hobbyists will face tougher restrictions over where they can fly if Amazon and Google get their way in creating dedicated airspace zones for commercial flight.
Currently, both companies face restrictions over operating such a service under Federal Aviation Administration rules that restrict almost all commercial flight, but they are both pushing for the rules to be rewritten as soon as possible.
“Some of the proposals that have come onto the table start capping the amount of airspace that hobby users have,” said Michael Perry, a spokesman for DJI, which makes the popular Phantom drone series that is popular among hobbyists for aerial photography.
Perry was referring to proposals made in late July by Amazon and Google at a drone conference in Moffett Field, California.
What were the proposals? Amazon suggested a high-speed drone zone between 200 and 400 feet altitude that would be solely for drones under automatic control and Google suggested all airspace under 500 feet be reserved for drones with transponders that continually broadcast their location and take orders from a computerized air traffic control system.
If either of the proposals became rule, where would the hobbyist drone operator legally and safely fly?