Business, Hardware

Commercial Drones Are Legal, For Now, Rules NTSB Judge

Many people are already familiar with the concept of commercial drones enabling companies to conduct business through the use of UAVs or drones. Amazon made many of us familiar with such a concept through their 60 minutes story and their idea of using drones to deliver packages to people’s homes. We covered this story when it happened, but one of the biggest problems for this happening was the fact that there simply wasn’t any legal framework for such a thing to occur. Furthermore, at the time and up until today, there was actually an FAA ban on commercial drone flights, which made Amazon’s story all the more a pipe dream. 

However, today all of that has changed with a judgement given by an NTSB judge that basically states that the FAA’s regulation isn’t valid nor is there any actual law restricting it. All of this comes as a result of the FAA trying to slap a $10,000 fine on a videographer trying to film a commercial using a drone. According to Geraghty, the NTSB Judge, The FAA ?has not issued an enforceable Federal Acquisition Regulation regulatory rule governing model aircraft operation; has historically exempted model aircraft from the statutory FAR definitions of ?aircraft? by relegating model aircraft operations to voluntary compliance with the guidance expressed in [the 2007 policy notice], Respondent?s model aircraft operation was not subject to FAR regulation and enforcement.?

What this basically means is that there is absolutely zero regulation on drone flights, commercial or not, and that the FAA needs to actually have a law written in order to be able to regulate it. They can’t simply claim to regulate something that there is no clear law for them to regulate. Nowhere does it say that they can actually regulate drone flights, commercial or not. If they want to be able to regulate drone flights, they will either have to write a new set of rules or be given that right by congress. Either way, right now, anything goes and photographers, Amazons, and maybe even breweries can fly drones wherever they want using whatever they want, for now.

Embedded below, is the judgement

Pirker Decision