"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Drones, Laws and Safety: Aerial Drones Banned Without Specific Ski Area Owner Permission

Jeanette DeForge at MassLive.com headlines that Ski areas banning drones in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont unless an operator has specific permission from the ski area owners.

In our private discussions with recreational consumer drone enthusiasts, we have said from the very beginning that the law has been much too slow to adopt sensible regulations governing consumer drone use and operation, a delay which has led to unnecessary dangers and misunderstandings. In the U.S.A. alone, 700000 drones were sold last year. Rather than the laggards in Congress working to obstruct or to shut down the government, they should long ago have worked out comprehensive overall drone regulation legislation.

We think it is inevitable that drone operators in the future will have to obtain a government-defined drone use license and in the course of doing so will have to take a course in drone piloting and operation, including the obtaining of thorough knowledge of the dangers that drones can pose to individuals and to the public as well as a clear understanding of where drones can be operated and where not, and whether drone-made aerial photos and videos can or can not be published in print or posted online, and the extent of and reasons for any restrictions that are said to apply.

Ultimately, drone makers will have to install software and hardware that incorporates maps of no fly zones and makes it impossible for drones to enter such zones, e.g. airspace near airports, certain kinds of public and private property, etc.