(I have changed the formatting to make it easier to read)
This new proposed framework regarding drone regulations and categorizations of various UAVs, there are three distinct sections: Open, specific, and certified.
The first one affects recreational users, with the “specific” section affecting professional UAV pilots (aerial inspection, monitoring, etc.). Lastly, those in the “certified” section are entirely comprised of aerospace corporations (if the Ehang ever finds its way to Europe, for example, it would fall under this category).
- The “open” category would cover UAVs weighing between 8.81 ounces (250 grams) and 55.1 pounds (25 kilograms). \
- The maximum height permitted proposed by the EASA would be 394 feet (120 meters).
- Safety tests and required registration would be included here, as well.
- “Specific” users will have to declare their done flights in advance.
- “Specific” users are also the only ones allowed to operate BVLOS flights, which would mean recreational users won’t be allowed to fly around using first-person view goggles, for example, as they’d need to keep their UAVs in sight during operation.
My interpretation of the above is that recreational use of R/C aircraft will be restricted to small aircraft, flying no higher than 120 meters, within line of sight visual range, and flyers will be required to pass an exam and register their craft with the government.
In some ways this is similar to the U.S. today – but the U.S. does not require hobbyists to pass an exam but I believe this is the direction this is headed.
Why? I have seen numerous videos on Youtube of people flying their drones out 1 to 3 miles distance (which is against regulations in the U.S.), and I have seen social media commentary from drone hobbyists that think rules are to be ignored. This is an inappropriate response from some in the drone community that will lead to increased regulations and restrictions on the use of drone aircraft.
I see a not very distant future where it may be required, using a smart phone app, to register your R/C aircraft operation (literally file a flight plan), unless flown at an existing, well known, R/C airfield.
Where I live, there are so many airports (mostly private air strips) that I would need to drive a very long ways before I could fly a drone legally, or get clearance from ATC or each private airstrip and airport operator, which is not practical. For that reason, I do not have a drone and do not intend to get one until we move.