Drone Air Space: no longer a question of If but Where

Posted on May 7, 2014 By

I started working on this post last Wednesday, around the time the FAA’s $10,000 fine against Raphael Pirker for using his UAS for commercial purposes at the University of Virginia was dismissed. Here is Mr. Pirker’s Motion to Dismiss.


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Then I realized I was merely treading in the ebb and flow of a quickly rising flood beneath this issue of Drone Air Space (DAS).  Indeed, every time I started researching, different angles would rise up: film makers, sports venues to motocross, whale watching, hunting —the possibilities are endless. . Imagine how this could turn out with literally hundreds of them in the air above Yosemite.
Beneath this airshow we have The American People, who “get” drones with a vengeance. It’s not simply a question of 1st Amendment rights, but one of Freedom of Assembly and Passage. And, they’re so EASY to operate!

If not the FAA then Someone will have to establish parameters of operations, and questions of privacy, for these soon to be ubiquitous Personal Environment Reconnaissance Vehicles, or PERVs. My position is obviously evolving away from viewing the FAA/FEDS as an overbearing bureaucracy to understanding their concerns for public safety, which I believe are valid. That said, I’m beginning to feel that perhaps the FAA is NOT the agency to settle or regulate Drone Rights. For example, just wait until the NRA asserts a 2nd Amendment right to keep and arm drones. But it is with disaster response and UAVs that we are focused, and I believe the FAA, in the long run, will not try to stand between Americans and their disasters.  ~Bruce Biles

Further reading:

Welcome to the Humanitarian UAV Network ~ Patrick Meier, iRevolution

FAA Announces First Rescue ‘Drone’ Test Site

Drones could have increased use by National Hurricane Center, NOAA ~WDSU

FAA Head: Safety, Privacy Concerns Abound In Regulating Drones ~NPR

Drone regulation bill dies in Louisiana House committee ~Michelle Mollhollon, The Advocate

Ban on drone photos harms free speech, say media outlets in challenge to FAA~Jeff John Roberts, Gigaom

FAA ‘Looking Into’ Arkansas Tornado Drone Journalism, Raising First Amendment Questions ~Greg McNeal, Forbes

 Nicholls State experimenting with a drone for Louisiana coastal restoration and oil industry uses ~Mark Walker, Nola.com

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