A recent study conducted by Gabi Personal Insurance Agency Inc. and posted by Automotive News shows the EV’s average insurance cost across 150 ZIP codes is $2,814 per year. That’s $35 less than the cost of insuring a Porsche 911, using the same metrics.
UK Commercial drone pilot Matthew Greaves spots the absurdity of YouTubers claiming quadcopter near miss collisions with airliners in order to get more views on their YouTube videos.
The YouTuber is claiming he flew his quadcopter in violation of UK laws and regulations and nearly collided with an airliner. Except that did not happen. It’s just a click-bait video title.
In fact, the thumbnail image is a bad PhotoShop creation. The video shows no aircraft what so ever.
It is bewildering that someone would make such a claim to get more video views as this could lead to an official investigation and a waste of resources, similar to making false crime reports.
- Calls for registration of all drones over 250 grams.
Calls for considering future technologies including:
- Calls for geo-fencing to make drones incapable of being launched near sensitive locations. Calls for “absolute prohibition” of flight over public buildings and “critical infrastructure”
- New low-altitude air traffic control system for drones.
- Beacon IDs on drones
- Possibly requiring “detect and avoid capabilities” on all drones in the future.
- Enhanced laws on privacy
- Notes problems with “untrained and unlicensed operators”
The new rules in India, starting December 1, apply to drones greater than 2 kg in mass:
Owners and pilots will have to be registered, and permission will be required for each flight. Users will need to apply for permission on an app and digital permits will be given instantly through an automated process.
As per this rule, users will be required to do a one-time registration of their drones, pilots and owners. For every flight (apart for the nano category), users will be required to ask for permission on a mobile app. Once a request is filed on the app an automated process would permit or deny the request instantly.
This action gives hints as to what regulators in other countries are thinking. We have seen similar ideas proposed in the U.K. and the U.S.
Note that in the model aircraft hobby, numerous small aircraft are more than 2 kg in mass. If a similar policy were adopted in the U.S., a flight plan and permission to fly would be required even to fly at a model aircraft airfield.
Model aircraft, like that shown here, typically weigh many pounds or equivalent to greater than 2 kg in mass.
Drones have been categorised into five categories, depending on their weight. The smallest is nano category which includes drones weighing up to 250 grams and going up to large that can be as heavy as 150 kg. Apart from the first two categories of nano and micro (over 250 grams to 2 kg) which are mostly used by children as toys, all other drone users need to be registered and have a unique identification number (UIN). People seeking such drone licences will need to be over 18 years of age and be at least tenth pass with knowledge of English.
“Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP) shall be required for Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) operators except for nano RPAS operating below 50 feet, micro RPAS operating below 200 feet, and those owned by (security and central intelligence agencies…. As of now, RPAS to operate within visual line of sight, during day time only, and up to maximum 400 feet altitude,” the policy says.
The UK is interested in developing and testing a tracking system that would allow officials to monitor all civilian drones flying at low altitudes (under 500 feet). The system may require drone operators to register their flight plans and follow a set of rules similar to those already in place for managing automobile traffic. Once in flight, the drone would be tracked possibly using the existing cell phone infrastructure as it moved along its route. Drone operators concerned about major changes to their hobby can rest easy for now as NASA is not expected to have a working prototype traffic management system in place until 2019.
…. The proposal includes a licensing or registration system that would require all drone operators to register their drones before they would be allowed to fly them. This database would be available online and possibly even tied to a smartphone app that would enable citizens to identify the owner of a drone flying overhead. Other proposals include the expanded use of geo-fencing to keep drones away from certain locations, such as airports and jails, where drone presence is not permitted.
This bill would state regulation of airspace.
- The operator of a drone that causes a manned aircraft to take evasive action is subject to a prison term of 3 to 6 years.
- The operator of any illegally operated drone that collides with a manned aircraft would be subject to a large fine and a prison term of 7 to 11 years.
- All retail sellers of “drones” would be required to log the name and address of every purchaser.
- Bans the operations of “drones” about 400 feet within 2, 3 or 5 miles of airport facilities. Does not provide for exceeding 400 feet in order to avoid an obstacle. Does not provide exceptions for model airfields that may have pre-authorized, written agreements with local airports.
This bill has not made it through the committee process and since the FAA has established that the FAA has pre-emptive authority over airspace, this bill is probably going nowhere. The requirement for retailers to log all purchasers is superfluous as most drone operators are already required to register with the FAA.
It is useful to look at these proposals to understand the mindset of legislators, however.
“Therefore, the alliance says it “strongly supports” the amendment, which “enables the FAA to impose safety regulations on all drone operators” and is “critical to ensure the safety and security of the national airspace.”
“The alliance recognizes that there are different categories of users and aircraft in the UAS community, and we encourage the FAA to take those differences into account in adopting regulations,”
The above is the background discussion that has been underway since last fall and gives hints as to where Congress and Federal regulators are moving in the months ahead.
Read the whole thing to see what it is desired by regulators
- All model aircraft pilots to pass an “aeronautical knowledge and safety test”
- Permit the FAA to regulate “operational parameters” for hobbyist aircraft, including registration and marking
- Standards for remote identification and “other standards consistent with maintaining the safety and security of the National Airspace System” – meaning real-time beacon ID containing registration ID, location and real-time tracking systems.
- Provide for aircraft “flown strictly for hobby or recreational use” if “operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a community-based organization”.
The latter is the escape clause suggesting the FAA will not heavily regulate model aircraft flown at established model aircraft club airfields. Flights anywhere else, however, would be subject to requirements for certified pilots, automatic beacon identification and real-time tracking.
A ranking Congressional representative has called for mandatory “geofencing” that would prevent hobbyist drones from flying within 5 miles of any airport.
More on where this could lead, in the future, in my previous blog post.
The FAA is well along in developing proposed rules and regulations and is waiting for Congress to give it the authority it wants, which may come within the next few weeks.
The image accompanying this post shows 12 airports within a 5 mile radius of the maps center point. Before flying, a hobbyist must notify all 12 airport managers or private airfield owners, plus the one air traffic control tower. Most of these airports are privately owned and operated, typically at farms or farming related businesses such as crop dusting, plus 3 hospital landing zones.
The number of airports is probably greater than most hobbyists recognize, meaning that hobby drones cannot be casually flown over much of the U.S. Indeed, its a good guess that most drone hobbyists are unaware of their local airport restrictions and are violating FAA regulations. Automated beacon IDs on all model aircraft will eventually make such violations enforceable.
A corollary is that most people buying hobby drones probably ought not to be buying them until they figure out if and where they can be flown legally.
Note – Part 107 licensed pilots do not need to notify all airports, only operating air traffic control towers. It is presumed that licensed pilots understand the air space and will operate safely just as licensed private pilots do not need to notify every private airfield as they fly overhead.
Perhaps, the most discussed aspect of Part 107 is their flying over people rule.
- Per the FAA, you cannot fly over people except people directly involved in the operation of the aircraft or people beneath a safe cover.
- Obtaining permission from people to fly over them does not make it legal – in fact, it still against FAA regulations.
- Per the FAA, you cannot fly over moving vehicles.
- You can fly over people when flying inside a building. Why? Because the FAA has no jurisdiction of the space inside buildings.
- Some people will deliberately move themselves to under your flying UAV so that they can then complain to the FAA that you flew over them.
Some other things you cannot do:
- Fly your UAV outside of your line-of-sight view. There are tons of videos on Youtube showing flights up to as far as 44 miles, using 4G LTE modems to control the radio controlled aircraft. Doing this is reckless and not permitted by the FAA.
With much fear about radio controlled aircraft flown near airports comes this novel application using drones to chase birds away from airport take off and landing corridors.
Intelligent autonomous drones can herd birds out of the danger zone and could improve flight safety