Everyone involved in the FAA regulatory process is saying it is illegal for them to comment.
"The FAA may close an ARAC meeting or a portion of an ARAC meeting only for reasons such
as when information to be discussed—
Is classified or best kept secret in the interests of national defense or foreign policy.
Discloses trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person that
are privileged and confidential."
Congress has already investigated the FAA over the misuse of secrecy in 2001.
Note: ARAC = Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee
Noticed this identical post was deleted from several sites.
Someone wants the truth hidden!
It has come to my attention from very reliable sources tha the AMA has been contacting forum owners since the summer (2010) and "convincing" them to remove any and all non-AMA approved content and ban forum members who are not pro-AMA.
People really trust the AMA more than the FAA?
I fly to relax. I used to go for Sunday drives but that stopped being relaxing when gas went over $2/gallon.
I must be honest though, Obama's policies did help refinance our mortgage, knocked off 10 years at the same monthly rate!
Guess I can't complain about adding $100K in equity.
I think it is pretty obvious that the FAA is being highly influenced by the Department of Defense. The way I look at it is that the only reason why there would be secrecy is if there is some kind of perceived national security risk.
The Military is probably using language like "Flying weapons of mass destruction", "Terrorists", "Flying guided bombs" , and "Surveillance of Sensitive locations".
I have been interested in drones for over five years now and back then there was never any "hint" at any sort of new legislation for R/C Airplanes. But then we started calling them drone's and using them in our Military and now they are their own class that deserves restrictions and law.
I support legislation for "safety" but anything past that I oppose. I am hearing rumors like "line of sight" only, and that bothers me. It's not a drone if it flies "line of sight". The whole point of a drone is to fly far and have the vision and intelligence to do useful things.
Maybe safety testing for drones over a certain weight? Safety testing on the FAA's dime since they are the one's claiming authority.
As a former soldier I appreciate the concerns about weaponized drones, as a libertarian I appreciate the concerns about privacy.
However what brought be to DIYDrones is I wanted to make a living doing something awesome.
The FAA and their blanket prohibition against flying any UAS for profit virtually guarantees that the future of UAS belongs to our friends in countries other than the United States.
15 years from now, when I step into a robotic air-taxi, I want it to be my company's name on the fuselage. How am I to realize my dream when the FAA makes it illegal to profit from aerial robots?
How am I to fund Research and Development, if I cannot make small profits with smaller bots?
I'm not asking for a hand-out, I'm not asking for help, I'm asking to be allowed to fund my own enterprise using the power of market demand. The FAA is crippling innovation in this field. It is not a political issue, it is accidental economic warfare conducted by against our own people.
"The FAA and their blanket prohibition against flying any UAS for profit virtually guarantees that the future of UAS belongs to our friends in countries other than the United States."
The FAA has jurisdiction, and some responsibility, for all commercial use of the NAS (National Airspace System), not specifically targeting UAV's. UAS is the military designation for Unmanned Aerial Systems which could include weapons. I would recommend using the term UAV since that is the preferred term from the FAA.
If you think the future of the UAS lies offshore, then why is NASA sponsoring a UAS Competition? That could be your funding source.
When the FAA releases the UAV NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) for public comment, we all need to respond.
Agreed that we all need to engage the FAA.
You are correct that some government funding might help innovation, but government funding is limited to the imagination and bureaucratic efficiency of the federal government. That simply will not be able to keep up with the diversity of entrepreneurs left to their own devices.
Sure the FAA has to regulate the NAS, but perhaps some size-based deregulation is appropriate for profit driven enterprise. After all most air traffic gets along just fine with the multitudes of birds in the sky. The only issues then would be spectrum management, and liability issues which would be handled by local civil litigation.
It's not as much de-regulation as it is an overdue update. When the regulations were last updated, a computer was the size of a refigerator. UAV was science fiction and autopilots were based on a several-hundred pound spinning disk in a contraption the size of a washing machine.
It appears that the FAA has switched back to UAS for the preffered term:
Unmanned Aircraft Systems — previously referred to as "unmanned aerial vehicles", "UAVs", "remotely operated aircraft/vehicles", or just "unmanned aircraft" — come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and serve diverse purposes. They may have a wingspan as large as a Boeing 737 or smaller than a radio-controlled model airplane. UAS operations always have a pilot in command who is flying the aircraft. Read more of the Fact Sheet – Unmanned Aircraft Systems(PDF).
The FAA has been most concerned with the larger UAS (Since the S in UAS is already plural, UAS's is incorrect) from Predator to 747 sized aircraft. Small UAS like ours are currently not in consideration.
But, we should keep watching for the opportunity for public comment.