WSJ: Commercial Drone Operators Disregard FAA Rules

Image: WSJ: Commercial Drone Operators Disregard FAA Rules

Monday, 12 May 2014 07:53 AM

By Elliot Jager

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Civilian drone operators are flying circles around the Federal Aviation Administration, which has limited authority to regulate their activities even when these endanger the safety of commercial airline passengers, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The near-collision of a US Airways regional jet and a drone on March 22 at 2,300 feet over Tallahassee, Fla., has added import to resolving the problem, but the drone industry and federal regulators are at odds over enforcement, the Journal reported.

The drone issue "can't get any more important to the FAA than it is today," Jim Williams, head of the FAA's unmanned-aircraft office, told the Journal. "But unfortunately, the regulatory process is very slow and deliberative."

Commercial drones are widely used in farming, filmmaking, the real estate industry, and advertising. The agency is less concerned about the farmers who are treated, unofficially, as hobbyists. The other commercial operators, however, basically disobey existing FAA rules.

The agency's limited resources and questionable legal authority have led to erratic enforcement and have buoyed drone operators, according to the Journal.

When the agency fined a drone pilot for recklessness, an administrative law judge ruled that the FAA had no legal authority to enforce its drone safety guidelines. The result is that operators are undeterred by FAA pronouncements, a federal official told the Journal.

Mike Fortin, who runs a company in Orlando, Fla., that films public events and commercials, ignored a notice from the FAA informing him that he was violating federal policy. "My response to the FAA was to piss off," he told the Journal.

The agency has several dozen staffers to look into commercial drone use, draft policy, and vet permits for non-commercial organizations such as law enforcement to fly drones.

In November 2013, the FAA said it had a road map for "a comprehensive plan to safely accelerate the integration" of civilian drones into the national airspace system.

The FAA now says it will present rules in November on how drones may be certified for particular uses. The procedures might not become official and enforceable for years to come, the Journal reported.

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Border Patrol Agent Fires at Armed Militia Member

Friday, 29 Aug 2014 20:14 PM

The Border Patrol says an agent shot at someone near the Texas-Mexico border who later identified himself as a militia m . . .

Calif. Senate Approves Sweetened Tax Credits For Hollywood Studios

Friday, 29 Aug 2014 19:50 PM

The California State Senate has approved legislation on a 32-2 vote to extend and expand California's movie and TV tax c . . .

Groups Appeal GOP-Backed Fla. Congressional Maps, OK 2014 Vote

Friday, 29 Aug 2014 19:35 PM

A coalition of voters rights organizations that successfully sued Florida over gerrymandering is appealing the state's n . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved