So my guess as to why we are not allowed to fly drones commercially is because like everything else we would try to do as "Free American Citizens" that is highly regulated, we stand to make $$$ and that threatens the powers that be.
Simple solution, if someone causes damage or disrupts any sort of business, military, federal or state function...they are responsible for said damage/disruption. Fine them THEN, not when they are trying to make a life for themselves or feed their families. When threatened with fines and jail time, good people usually stay away from actions that end in those results.
The options for us as entrepreneurs and explorers are dwindling by the day and here is this new and exciting technology that is about to be taken away from us before we even understand it. Where does it stop from here? Flying cars, teleporting devices, new toasters and microwaves will all be owned and regulated only by the wealthy policy makers. We are talking about the same government that is making it illegal to feed the homeless in cities and taking the religious values that built this country out of everyday life. I am not preaching here..but if you did not notice, this country was built on the concept of being free. Free from religion, banks, monarchies, tyrants, corporations pretty much FREE! Not hard to understand...
Do not stifle the rest of our hopes and dreams and hobbies and FREEDOMS because it threatens the system. I think we can all agree the system is flawed right now anyway. Please do not tell me that is because we have too many freedoms. Go to Russia or Cuba or somewhere away from my beautiful country so we can get back to what made us the USA.
What the FAA and federal government are doing here is flat out wrong. Along with multiple other instances going on in the world right now that are just plain wrong. For the sake of argument I am trying to stay on topic and just express my feelings that I should be allowed to try and create a new business for myself devoid of an oppressive government or federal agency.
I am causing harm or damage by taking a video of my house that a want to sell...give me a break.
We are a nation of laws, that's the long and short of it.
The US is the only country in the world where the NAS is "owned" by the citizens. Those citizens have authorized an administrator to regulate that airspace and since there are pre-established rules for operating aircraft for hire the only way to effectively manage the NAS is to apply the same rules to everyone equally. It doesn't matter if you're flying a quadcopter or a 747. Flying for hire is flying for hire.
"Why are we not allowed to fly commercially?" - Because the budding commercial entities, like Amazon, Dominos' Pizza, and from what I hear Facebook, Google, etc. etc. etc. are all deep-pockets, big players who are the favored ones.
The PUBLIC is who funds ALL such entities, from the Government to the profits of all concerned corporations, and at least here in the USA, the PUBLIC is supposed to be the boss - especially when PUBLIC facilities are concerned.
Another answer: Because we (the Drone/multirotor community at large) are not putting up much of a fight about it, believe it or not. Outside of those who are able to do something as far as legal action goes, much of the drone community are acting hat-in-hand, about it; we ask, we plead, we complain, and we are mostly ignored. - Why is that? - Because we are not truly united. I have posted more than once that we need to start setting the standards for private/hobby and even private/commercial drones before bureaucrats set them for us, and so far, along with many other posts I see here, such posts get very little attention or feedback, with "0 replies", "0 replies", "0 replies". Why is that? Because sadly, too large a portion of the private/hobby private/commercial drone community are too self-interested to get involved, or to even give others positive feedback or even a "Like".
As we speak, the bureaucrats are deciding everything for us, with very little regard for our interests, other than a very, very few efforts towards actual legal action. A day of regret is hurtling toward us if we do not get serious and get together and get involved.
From a software & process perspective, it wouldn't take much from where we're at now, I think, to use a SaaS model to negotiate flight plans in precise and less precise means with the FAA, such that each drone flight has been communicated to the FAA and approval of the flight plan has been approved. When I say "less precise", I mean to say for example that "I intend to free-fly at higher-than-normal altitudes with my drone, but it's geofenced within this specific area". FAA can affirm that no flights are planned in that airspace, FPV recreational flights are approved for that airspace and that window of time. Similar automation is possible for commercial flights, with human intervention needed for only certain judgement calls.
Just a thought.
Another issue I see lately, is that the general public is saying "individuals shouldn't be allowed to own drones" because they're apparently afraid of their neighbors spying on them or dropping bombs on them. If hobbyists get restricted in their rights to use these, no small business will be able to get a foot in the door! It will be controlled by the giants.
I don't know what is wrong w/ our society where they think a faceless multi-national corporation or government organization is more trustworthy than their neighbors or local small business, but that is the general public opinion at the moment.
What ever happened to land of the free? Why does ANY American want to make more laws and take rights away from others? But if you read comments after any 'drone' news story, they're all anti-drone, and pro legislation.
(I bet if we replaced the word "drone" with "gun" all of a sudden we'd have all the rights we want!! Killing=good. New technology=bad!!!!!!!!!!!!! But I digress.....)
Here's to hoping the legislators are more intelligent than the internet commenters.
What an absolutely ignorant statement and you're exactly the type of person that will setback small unmanned aircraft flying in the NAS due to your unwavering hubris.
Are you not aware that there are nearly 30,000 firearms laws in the United States at the State and Federal levels? That doesn't include the local level either. It's ironic that you lament others for trying to take away rights which actually don't expressly exist when firearms ownership is, in fact, a fundamental and vital right to any and all citizens of the United States. Firearms, and the ownership there of, are a politically divisive subject because of those faceless corporations and government organizations who have partnered with media outlets to sway public opinion in an effort to restrict rights. When the 2nd was crafted the language was specifically chosen and in Federalist 18 Publius stated that modern, military grade weaponry should be owned and fielded by EVERY military aged male from 15-50 which destroys the whole "they didn't mean AR-15s" argument. During the Revolutionary War large everything from sabers to muskets to cannon were fielded and provided by private citizens and they were returned to their private owners at the conclusion of the war.
Currently as it stands in the United States we have a Constitutionally protected right of the People which is under attack. Pole taxes, dishonest narrative, sanctimony, and illegally recorded legislation that NEVER passed has been recorded as law and those of us who are law abiding citizens suffer for it.
Comparing an inalienable right to freaking hobby is an absolute joke and you should feel bad for even equating the two.
"Flight plans" don't work that way but you're on the right track. There are a large number of flights in the NAS which take place without a flight plan under (VFR) Visual Flight Rules.
What can be done is allowing trained operators to issue what we call (NOTAMs) Notice To Airmen which warn of various conditions, including hazards to flight and navigation, in a given location. Right now access to the NOTAM system is restricted to those with some sort of authority such as an Airport Manager. FAA certified pilots cannot just simply issue a NOTAM if they see something amiss. All we can do is issue what we call a (PIREP) Pilot Report.
But like I said, you're on the right track. By creating an Unmanned Pilot Certificate that is FAA sanctioned you can give operators granted an exception the ability to issue NOTAMs and train them up to a knowledge standard that will keep their operations profitable and safe for manned aviation. Manned pilots at every certification level are required per the FARs to check NOTAMs prior to every flight. It doesn't always happen but them's the rules. With the ability to publish NOTAMs an operator who is granted an exception could say "Between points W,X,Y, & Z at altitudes below 1000' MSL there will be an unmanned aircraft in operation." Whereas right now that cannot be done without an act of Congress.
The FAA doesn't have the man power to ensure that all their rules are being followed as it stands so adding more legislation will do nothing to improve that. What they can do is install a set of rules that benefit both the hobbyist and the business man.
For a good read on rules, regulations, and standard procedures in the NAS I'd recommend reading what we call the P-HAK.
You should check the FAA website and see that over 1000 small businesses, companies, persons, have been issued an exemption to fly commercially. And I would guess a very small percentage of these are large corporations or companies. Why are google and amazon making such public statements and offering ideas? Money has a part to play, but it is because they are operating with forethought and are attempting to have a rule structure in place so they can reliably make money with drones. If the hobby community or small business community were to band together and do they same, they would have the opportunity to shape the rules and regulations so they too could make money and or enjoy flying for pleasure. The USA has the busiest NAS in the world, the safest NAS in the world, and an accident rate for commercial aviation that has become the safest mode of transportation in the world. Anything that has potential to change that for the worse is going to be scrutinized. One large commercial carrier accident cost BILLIONS of dollars. I have not seen any forecasts for the drone industry that comes close to that number per year. Drone operators cannot even use common sense and police themselves. California wild fires, how many close encounters over the last week that have been made public? Instead of bashing the government and the process, why don't you spend some time educating operators of said aerial vehicles to stop showing they are a safety risk?
Indeed. I think though, that there is no bad intent behind the requirement for an exemption. It is just that the rules (Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, parts 91, 119, 135, and 121) were written for "aircraft" in commercial operation before the existence of the UAV as we know it. The rules simply don't include UAVs in the regs. It will take time for the FAA to write rules to cover the use of these vehicles in commercial operations. We, in the industry, need to be sure to participate in the rulemaking process as stakeholders to be sure sensible regulations result. In the meantime, educate, inform, and don't do dumb stuff, especially around manned flights. Operation in the NAS is well covered in the PHAK (as previously noted) and I'm sure if anyone wants to know more about the rules within airspace that a local Flight Instructor... at the local airport Fixed Base operator would be happy to provide the service needed.
It sounds convincing to say that the FAA is concerned more about large corporations than small drone operators.
But if you want to truly understand the FAA's ACTUAL concerns, then I highly recommend reading some of the FAA's published UAV exemptions. Most have been issued to small commercial drone operators, btw. Reading even one of them will give an understanding of the FAA's true concerns. Yes, it's all about safety. Air safety is considered first and foremost by the FAA, as it should. And their concerns are applied uniformly, regardless of who is applying for an exemption. Meet the requirements and you will be granted an exemption.
Many drone hobbyists are unfamiliar with how the FAA, and the aerospace industry in general, operates. It is an industry that is safety conscious, to a fault. This is why air travel is one of the safest activities on Earth. It is not by accident. People wanting to operate aircraft within FAA airspace need to understand and accept this.
As for a loss of "freedom', that's just a red herring. Simply put, there are rules in any society that are based on reason. Would anyone complain about a loss of freedom because there are rules that limit driving speeds on public roads? Or because the FCC creates rules to keep the airwaves usable. Likewise, the FAA creates rules for the airspace. It's that simple.
If you want to become a commercial operator, learn about the exemption process. It's not that complicated and many have successfully applied and been approved. Anyone really serious about becoming a commercial operator should stop wasting time complaining and go thru the exemption application process.