(Bloomberg) — As Hurricane Florence batters the southeastern U.S., a small army of drones is being assembled to quickly help identify and even fix damage caused by the storm.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, the FAA is restricting all drone flights to below 200 feet in all of South and North Carolina.
The Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) for Part 107 drone flights is currently offline at FAA airports in the hurricane zone.
The FAA issued a vague directive that drone operators may be subject to $20,000 fines “if they interfere with emergency response operations. Flying a drone without authorization in or near the disaster area may violate federal, state or local laws and ordinances, even if a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is not in place”. This implies authorities can, without warning – and possibly without legal authority – declare flights illegal. This is a confusing directive.