If the Journal‘s source is correct, the new rules will “require operators to have a license and limit flights to daylight hours, below 400 feet and within sight of the person at the controls.” The FAA also plans to group all drones under 55-pounds into the same category, which would destroy the hopes of certain manufacturers who want separate rules for smaller aircrafts.
The WSJ does not say for sure whether or not the license required would be the same as a pilot’s license for a manned aircraft, but the very possibility has Motherboard proclaiming a new-drone-order, in which only the rich will be able to operate the remote-controlled aircraft. Even the most inexpensive pilot’s license costs $8,000, according to Bloomberg News.
Michael Drobac, executive director of an advocacy group for drone makers and innovators that includes Google and Amazon, is not too happy about the proposals:
I feel like there’s a colossal mess coming. [The rule is] so divorced from the technology and the aspirations of this industry…that we’re going to see a loud rejection.
Meanwhile, as long as some sort of hope is alive that drones aren’t out of the common man’s reach, enjoy this video of a sweet drone/virtual reality headset combo.
(Photo: B Ystebo)