These days, remote controlled unmanned aircraft, known as “drones,” are appearing in the headlines on a regular basis. In some cases, we are talking about large military drones, such as the infamous Predator, and how they are used for surveillance and military strikes in the Middle East. These are very large drones with wingspans of nearly 50 feet, and each one costs over $4 million. They can fly virtually silently and launch Hellfire missiles with extreme precision.
However, these are not the same kind of drones making headlines and stirring up controversy in the United States. In this case, we are talking about the small battery operated helicopters with four rotors that you get at BestBuy for around $1,500. The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does not regulate these drones because they do not carry passengers and are not used for commercial purposes. If they were to be used for commercial purposes, the FAA would have oversight, and the agency currently prohibits their use. We have even seen cases were reporters were trying to use them for news footage since they normally contain cameras, but this was deemed commercial use and prohibited. Amazon also tried to use them to deliver packages, but this is not yet allowed, though there may be some changes in the future. Continue reading