FAA: Drone Regulations Coming In 2015, But No Drones Will Fly Until We're Sure They're Safe

The FAA continues to do its best to stand in the way of drone progress, as far as I can tell. Last week, there was an industry conference in Washington, D.C., that involved a range of aviation regulators and safety officials heralding from the United Nations, Canada, and of course, the United States. And the overwhelming message was that if anything took place with drones, it would take a long time. Not very encouraging, in my opinion. Here is a choice quotation from a high-ranking individual at the Federal Aviation Administration:

Granting regulatory approval to operate remotely piloted vehicles among manned aircraft is "not going to be as soon as some people tend to think," John Hickey, the No. 2 safety official at the Federal Aviation Administration, told the gathering.
"We're still many years away from what you would see as safe integration in the very busiest airspace," according to Mr. Hickey. "We will not allow [drones] to come into the system until we are completely sure they are safe."
In other words, according to the FAA, no drones are going to be allowed to take off on a large scale until there's complete certainty that they are safe. However, I have to ask why the standards are quite so high for drones, especially compared to a range of other devices that are readily available in society that claim far more lives.

As far as I can tell, around 35,000 people die every year in the United States from car collisions, and close to the same number die every year from guns. Yet our regulation of both seems significantly less than what the FAA is looking to do with drones, even though the capacity to cause harm in both cars and guns far exceeds that of drones.

The article goes on to note that the FAA would simply plan on forming a plan to make sure manned and unmanned aircraft play nicely by fall 2015, and not that drones would be allowed to take to the skies in large numbers at that point.

What does this all mean for the average drone pilot? It sounds like it means we are going to remain in a grey zone for a while longer. I'm not sure that's entirely a bad thing, as it does mean I get to keep flying my Phantom 2 Vision+ around without worrying too much about it being shot out of the sky and my being hauled to a secret prison. However, it's not entirely a good thing, either, as this simply gives anti-drone lobbyists more time to wait for people to do stupid things with drones in order to have stronger arguments against them.

I'll keep flying my drone, and I'll keep following best practices. I hope you do too.


Hi! My name is Mike, and I'm the author of this personal drone blog. If you find the information on my flying drone review blog useful, you can shop through Amazon here.

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