A discussion in Drone Life asks the drone community to consider whether or not it is a good idea for the FAA to have sole jurisdiction over drone usage in the United States. While the regulations establish a framework for safety, the argument for strong local involvement is a good one.
Rulings by the FAA are likely to be broad in scope and influenced by commercial usage. This kind of leadership would likely benefit corporations operations over a large area, but could be less friendly to smaller drone users. Local oversight of drone authority would better factor in the concerns of a local farmer tending his crops. The needs of a large scale drone flier are going to be very different than those of a specialized regional drone operator, according to the account.
At this point in drone development, the FAA is the go-to authority. Centralizing the administration of regulations has clear advantages, as well as drawbacks, reports Drone Life. Creating a mix of federal and local authority would be a way to accommodate the needs of both commercial and private drone operators. A patchwork approach could allow, for example, airspace defined for different flight types that would give a landowner more freedom when operating a drone within the confines of their own property.
Another consideration is that violation of FAA rules can result in fines, which could be unnecessarily punitive to smaller users who could become entangled in red tape. Rules designed to streamline operations for commercial users could put a stranglehold on individual users operating under entirely different circumstances. A single source of regulations might be easier to draft, but opportunities for drone users are better served by both centralized rules for general usage, and regulations tailored to the communities where drone users live, according to the account.
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