While hearing the words “Trump” and “drone” in the same sentence should cause some alarm, the president is introducing legislation that could mark a huge breakthrough for commercial UAVs.
Specifically, the bill would speed up the process for testing drones.
Trump’s bill would set up additional avenues for testing and approving commercial drones. These are described as “innovation zones” and would be directed by state, local, and tribal governments.
Amazon and Google would be key beneficiaries of the bill if passed into law—the delivery of products is
one of the UAS activities closely targeted by the legislation. It, in short, gives companies the opportunity to use drones in ways not allowed by the FAA.
Google would benefit from the passage of the bill because of its Project Wing, which involves delivery via drones. Because of restricted airspace at present, Google had been avoiding the U.S. altogether, rather testing in Australia (Amazon is testing drone delivery in the U.K.).
The provisions of the bill would make life easier for those wishing to enter commerce via UAS. They would make it easier to get permission to fly drones in circumstances now restricted by the FAA: above people, at night, or out of sight of the operator.
Under the proposal, these local governments would supposedly work together with the federal government. The FAA would retain its authority and place as the supreme authority over airspace. The idea would be to straighten out tangles between some of the locally-enacted legislation that has passed and FAA regulations.
However, there isn’t much detail on how these partnerships would be formed, how much it would cost, and whether or not there is funding.
While businesspeople like deregulation, and while making things easier sounds great on the surface, it’s not as easy as all that. There’s the question of how more bureaucracy speeds up processes of permissions; what kinds of changes can be made to regulations that don’t compromise safety; if the FAA will be interested in being party to a relaxation in the standards it has been upholding.
What will the consequences of a busier airspace be, and if drones deliver to apartment buildings, houses, and businesses, how will they safely interact with pedestrians and residents?
Advancements are great, and can be genuinely beneficial to society. However, we at ProSky Studio went through the original, current processes. Our services, including videography, photography, surveying, data collection, and construction applications, are long-approved, tried and tested.