A good link to some real information — from the source.
I wrote about “drones” or “UAVs” in two recent blog posts:
The issue is rather polarized, with most pilots and people on the ground wanting more regulation and most drone/UAV operators wanting less. One reader nitpicked over my use of the word “drone” and comparison to radio controlled helicopter — as if one radio-controlled flying object is that much different from another.
If any flying object hits an aircraft in flight or falls from a sky onto someone’s head, it’s going to do some serious damage.
The FAA, which, like most government agencies, operates so slowly it often seems as if it’s moving backwards, finally woke up and published an update on its website that clears up any “myths” surrounding the use of unmanned aircraft or UAS. Titled “Busting Myths about the FAA and Unmanned Aircraft,” it lists 7 myths and the corresponding facts for each.
Two myth/fact pairs stand out:
Myth #1: The FAA doesn’t control airspace below 400 feet
Fact—The FAA is responsible for the safety of U.S. airspace from the ground up. This misperception may originate with the idea that manned aircraft generally must stay at least 500 feet above the ground
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard people tell me that the FAA has no control over airspace near the ground. The number of feet from the ground that the FAA control begins varies from 50 to 150 to 300 to 400. These numbers seem arbitrary to me. The truth of the matter is, FAA-regulated airspace begins in the U.S. at the ground.
Myth #3: Commercial UAS operations are a “gray area” in FAA regulations.
Fact—There are no shades of gray in FAA regulations. Anyone who wants to fly an aircraft—manned or unmanned—in U.S. airspace needs some level of FAA approval. Private sector (civil) users can obtain an experimental airworthiness certificate to conduct research and development, training and flight demonstrations. Commercial UAS operations are limited and require the operator to have certified aircraft and pilots, as well as operating approval….
Flying model aircraft solely for hobby or recreational reasons doesn’t require FAA approval, but hobbyists must operate according to the agency’s model aircraft guidance, which prohibits operations in populated areas.
Did you get that? Even hobbyists are prohibited from flying their radio controlled model aircraft over populated areas. That includes large gatherings of people for outdoor events.
If you’re interested in this topic, I urge you to read this article on the FAA website. It should help you realize that there’s really no “debate” about this — the rules are quite clear.