Senator Chuck Schumer and I disagree on what an “elegant solution” is, at least when it comes to drone related incidents. In his mind, the best solution to preventing incidents like the US Open drone crash, the University of Kentucky drone crash or even the White House is for drone manufacturers to use geo-fencing to prevent rotorcraft from flying in restricted areas. Would this really work? How would this solution work for DIY drones or open source drone platforms? Do you have any ideas for a better solution?
Sen. Chuck Schumer wants lawmakers to force drone manufacturers to implement technology that would keep the unmanned flying objects away from airports, parades and major sporting events.
In an interview with The Associated Press on Saturday, Schumer said he would introduce an amendment this week to the FAA reauthorization bill, which funds the Federal Aviation Administration.
Under his proposal, drones sold or operated in the U.S. would need geo-fencing technology that prevents them from operating within two miles of an airport or above 500 feet, Schumer said. The amendment would also encourage the FAA to enact policies forbidding drones in other “sensitive locations,” like sporting events, parades or near the Pentagon.
While I’m not sure geo-fencing will be the ultimate solution here, in the same open letter from Senator Schumer to the FAA, he does take a position on the “line of sight” rule that I wholeheartedly agree with.
Line of sight rule: The requirement that all UAS must fly within the visual line of sight of the operator or visual observer could significantly hinder the potential for UAS in many commercial usages. It is hard to see how such a rule would not limit the legitimate use of drones in many commercial applications, including agriculture, mining, construction and infrastructure monitoring, land surveying and mapping, and delivering necessities to rural communities. I urge the FAA to work with the stakeholders and experts in these industries and areas of UAS technology to strike a balance in the final rule that allows for both the commercial use of UAS and the protection of safety and privacy.
Schumer: FAA’s Proposed Rules On Drones Are Good First Step Towards Airspace Safety, But Final Rules Must Include Three Key Changes; Urges Feds To Fix Flawed ‘Line Of Sight’ Rule, Require Manufacturers To Use GPS Geo-fencing Technology & Develop Stringent Privacy Protections
About Senator Chuck Schumer
Charles Ellis “Chuck” Schumer is the senior United States Senator from New York and a member of the Democratic Party. First elected in 1998, he defeated three-term Republican incumbent Al D’Amato by a margin of 55%–44%. Schumer was re-elected in 2004 by a margin of 71%–24% and in 2010 by a margin of 66%–33%.
Before his election to the U.S. Senate, Schumer served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1981 to 1999, representing New York’s 16th congressional district, later redistricted to the 10th congressional district in 1983 and to the 9th congressional district in 1993. A native of Brooklyn and graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, he was a three-term member of the New York State Assembly, serving from 1975 to 1980.
Schumer was chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from 2005 to 2009, in which post he oversaw a total of 14 Democratic gains in the Senate in the 2006 and 2008 elections. He is the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, behind Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, elected Vice Chairman of the Democratic Caucus in the Senate in 2006. In November 2010, he was also chosen to hold the additional role of chairman of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee starting at the opening of the 112th Congress.