AI News, Small Drones Deserve Sensible Regulation

Small Drones Deserve Sensible Regulation

Nowhere is this more apparent than with small unmanned aircraft, those tiny flying robots that promise to transform agriculture, forestry, pipeline monitoring, filmmaking, and more.

At the recent Drones and Aerial Robotics Conference, at New York University, one speaker imagined what would happen if the Wright brothers were to face such restrictions today: Moments before takeoff, a black Chevy Suburban would pull up, federal agents would jump out, and they would halt the ill-conceived experiment for safety reasons.

that small flying contraptions, even those the size of your hand, are considered “aircraft” and therefore require a Certificate of Authorization if they are flown outside for anything other than recreation—even if they hover just an inch above the grass.

This is because when federal aviation regulations limit what people can do in their backyards and neighborhoods, it implies that citizens are now living within, rather than below, public navigable airspace.

This framework would ensure a far more human world, one where small drones are just tiny flying contraptions, not FAA-certified aircraft with the public right of transit over our tulips.

These fascinating new tools could then be used where landowners and local laws allow, safely below navigable airspace and out of the way of full-size aircraft.

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