Commercial vs Hobby Flying


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Hi, Alan, et al...

Thanks for the information on the upcoming Model and 3D Mapping course!

I have a question for you.

I'm curious as to what you've heard concerning the FAA's ban on commercial use of
drones. It has always seemed wrong to me that a teenager can fly the same flight plans
that I fly using the same drone and take video and photos with no problem.  However,
I'm prohibited from flying the exact same route and drone if I make any money from
the effort.

It would be a little more reasonable if hobbyists were restricted more than commercial
operators, such as, only 100 feet and below in altitude, only on private property, etc.

But safety can't be a reason for the limitations if both the hobbyist and commercial
operators are flying the same routes and drones.

Your thoughts or anyone else's?



Rick Faircloth
Drone Flyte

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Hi Rick, I have many thoughts, but I'll stick to facts in this post :)

Here's a summary of NPRM 107, which the FAA published almost a year ago, in February 2015:

Those proposed rules received thousands of comments from the public, and last year in June the FAA hopped in front of Congress and said something to the extent of, sorry guys, we know we said we'd finalize these rules in a couple of months, but we need one more year.

So everyone's looking at June 2016 for these new small unmanned aerial system regulations to be finalized. Note in the link above that a traditional pilot license will likely not be required, but passing some kind of UAS-specific multiple choice test would be.

Thing is, we're all looking into a crystal ball here. It's hard to know not just when the rules will be finalized on the FAA's side and what those will look like, but also when they'll pass through the proper bureaucratic channels to get enacted into real, enforceable law.

Curious how others will chime in on this thread... :) 

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HI, Alan, and thanks for the reply.

However, the temporary solution put in place by the FAA still doesn't make the situation any safer for the public than if they had passed no new regulations while coming up with a final solution.

The only difference between the two classes of operators is money. Were they, perhaps, trying to slow down the increasing number of pilots by targeting commercial operators who might fly more dangerous drones, with heavy-handed temporary rules, while writing the regulations in their final form?

And have these regulations been tested in court?

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On a side note, I just noticed the "Notify me of replies" button. Does that option have to be turned on for every comment? It seems to be that way since the button is only at the bottom of the current comment form.

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