The FAA has announced a committee charged with drafting rules that could ease restrictions on operating drones in crowded or public places. While this is beneficial, especially to the larger corporate players like Amazon and Google, it isn’t exactly the regulation change that the industry needs.
The FAA is mulling a change in proposed regulations for drones, and big tech will have its say.
The Federal Aviation Administration announced Wednesday a committee to draft recommendations for rules that could ease restrictions on operating drones in crowded or public places. The FAA has invited mostly commercial stakeholders, including Alphabet’s Google X, Intel and GoPro, to the group.
What timeline are we looking at for the final report being authored by this committee?
The committee will start working on recommendations next month and give a final report to the FAA by April 1, when the agency will review its findings and file a proposal. It comes as business interests have ramped up pressure on the FAA and Congress for wider drone use amid concerns about public safety and privacy.
As I stated above, I don’t believe this is the regulation change that the industry really needs to foster it’s growth. Until the FAA changes commercial drone pilot requirements, the industry will be hamstrung. While I understand why the FAA does it, requiring commercial drone pilots have a Sport Pilot Certificate rating or better (combined with a valid Section 333 Exemption) poses a serious barrier to entry for many potential new drone operators.
Will the FAA include some sort of revision to the commercial drone pilot requirements? We really don’t know yet, so it’s back to another wait and see situation, but I’m still cautiously optimistic.