Drones aka Unmanned Flight Systems Take a Giant Leap Forward
New law opens the door for innovation and access to technology
With relative frequency, aviation stories capture the imagination of the popular press and public discussion. Look no further than Tom Hanks starring as Sully Sullenberger in a recent major motion picture release. So this August when the Federal Aviation Association announced a new drone law that makes it easier for individuals to fly drones, it was widely reported and discussed.
The law: The new law states that an individual can fly an unmanned system (drone) under 55 pounds if they either have a Part 61 pilot certificate or if they pass a test on aeronautical knowledge at an FAA-approved testing center. The law has hobbyists and business segments as diverse as camera manufacturer/marketers, agriculture, real estate, conservationists and restaurants, excited about the future of unmanned flight.
The implications: For hobbyists, this law and the development of new drone/photo combinations has put a previously difficult to attain pastime within closer reach. For camera manufacturers such as GoPro, which is releasing its GoPro Karma this fall, a broader market of drone sales opens wide. And for real estate agents, agriculture and other businesses that rely on aerial technology, the possibilities expand on ways to capitalize on the utility of drones.
Looking forward: One ‘gee-whiz!’ component of this new law is that it could further open the door to drone deliveries. Companies like Amazon and Domino’s are testing delivery via drone in other countries. With this law, we may see it happen in the United States sooner than we’d thought. Hurdles, such as population density, privacy and safety, still exist, but the law has spurred another wave of research and development in this area.
What developments are you seeing in this area of flight? If you’d like share with us, connect with us on Facebook or contact us by email.