Several industry leaders and stakeholders in the unmanned aircraft system (UAS or drone) industry have provided feedback on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) proposed rules for flying drones at night and over people, as well as for drone safety and security issues.
The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) argued in its comments that the proposed rules for flying drones over people are “too restrictive and [do] not consider the safety or societal benefits of the technology.” Their solution –create a revised framework that provides certainty for operators, such as safety compliance and new performance-based regulations that more appropriately account for the low risks posed by UAS operations.
DJI, a leading drone manufacturer, said it opposed the FAA’s proposal to prohibit flights over moving vehicles, which, for example, may pose “unjustified restrictions on the use of drones by public safety organizations.” Additionally, DJI said that the injury standards set forth in the proposed rule are “not the appropriate standard for small drones because no small drone has the characteristics of rocket shrapnel, and the FAA’s injury studies are based on outdated studies from the 1960s.” Their proposed solution is to look to current research conducted by the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE) and rethink the standards. The Commercial Drone Alliance (CDA) took a similar stance, stating in its comments that the risk analysis is flawed because it does not take into account the likelihood or probability of a drone actually hitting a person or causing an injury.
We will continue to follow the progression of the FAA’s proposed rules and how they will affect the commercial drone industry moving forward.