Editor-in-chief and co-founder of dronelife.com, Andrew Amato, categorizes drone/uav hobbyists into two major categories, flight enthusiasts and photography enthusiasts. Flight enthusiasts see drones as the next generator of radio-controlled aircraft, while photography enthusiasts see drones as see a brand new tool to take, what historically were, impossible shots.
With so many new aircraft hovering in the sky, where are the regulations? The FAA has been working on commercial regulations for a while, but the short answer today is, no commercial use without a special exemption. What regulations have been set are fairly limited and concern airspace and flight. That means FAA is passing the buck to state governments.
A Memorial Day parade bystander in Marblehead only had minor injuries after a drone crashed onto him last month, but the incident highlighted some of the concerns about safety and the stark lack of regulations for these high-tech, easily obtainable camera-equipped mini-helicopters.
What began as a niche aviation or photography hobby for some is now at the center of debate regarding potential invasions of privacy, applications as a law enforcement tool, and a long list of commercial uses. Local businesses are already popping up to use drones and several police departments, including the state police, are looking at training officers to use them.