3D Robotics


Hello DIY Drones Community:

I have come up with some interesting articles regarding UAV legislation and projected sales for the upcoming holiday season that might affect the use of drones for regular folk and businesses.

Jason Koebler of Motherboard.com wrote an interesting piece on how the FAA missed its Congressional deadline to regulate drones.

According to the FAA Modernization Act of 2012 passed by Congress, the commercial use of drones should've been fully regulated by September 30, 2015. We are now in October and no mandate by the FAA has gone into effect yet.

A concerning thought considering how the article by Justin Peters of Slate.com says that the FAA predicts that 1 million drones could be sold this holiday season.

This could pose a problem if drones are given to children or careless persons as gifts. The reckless use of drones could lead to accidents that in turn could push for harsh legislation against the use of recreational and commercial UAVs for everybody, including responsible pilots.

I would like to know your thoughts on these issues and if you have any plausible solutions.

Thank you and have a good day,


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  • @Daniel - The issue you raised here remains a viable concern. Namely, "The reckless use of drones could lead to accidents that in turn could push for harsh legislation against the use of recreational and commercial UAVs for everybody, including responsible pilots."

    As a representative of 3D Robotics, can you please comment on what 3DR is planning to do to address this? 

    IMO, the schedule for new regulations might be in the hands of drone hobbyists. What I mean is that the FAA may continue to drag its feet. But on the day of the first tragedy, the government will respond with a knee jerk reaction. Unfortunately, this is often how society works. 

    3DR and other manufacturers need to accept more responsibility for safety and move quickly to improve it, imo. Preventing the stupid things new pilots can do with their RTF drones would be a good and relatively easy first step. Especially with the massive new drone sales expected this holiday season. No? 

  • Hi Toby,

    It is not in the nature of the FAA or any US government organization for that matter to take the simple path.

    Even if the FAA wanted to do things straight forwardly, there is so much political wrangling and dissent regarding the infamous "drones" it will never happen.

    Our politicians and the media here operate in an atmosphere of generated hysteria in order to promote their own agendas.

    And "drones" are the perfect "Big Brother" analog for "the enemy".

    As a result our health at any cost system is totally broken the real buying power of the average American is on a continual downward spiral and dysfunction at the expense of the individual grows every day.

    And the FAA is just a Toady of that process.

    Welcome to America.



  • Moderator

    Congress said it knew the FAA would not make it so no harm no foul. Look to 2021 for final regs in the US, the year after ADSB is supposed to be adopted. Until then get a 333. Really this is a non story the game started in 2007.

  • This is where the new rules in New Zealand are fantastic.
    The CAA there has regulated based on risk not use. A commercial operator and a hobbyist can fly under the same rules.
    However, if either the commercial operator or the hobbyist wants to fly above 400 feet, or beyond line of sight or at night, then they can apply for an exemption and become certified to do so.

    The FAA should look at what the NZ CAA has done and just copy it, problem solved.

  • @Daniel - Thanks for the timely post. You're right, of course. The FAA is working too slowly regarding drone regulations and air safety.

    But we all need to be careful not to mix the regulation issues between commercial drones and consumer drones. Commercial drone users are never going to become a big safety concern, imo. Current commercial drone regulation complaints are more focused on authorizing skilled operations quickly in order to enable revenues/profits to flow.

    The growing safety concerns that you mention revolve almost entirely around consumer drones, since millions are now being sold to untrained and uneducated users. Please see my earlier blog post for a more detailed discussion of this important and growing issue. As that post mentions, the solutions, imo, need to start with drone manufacturers. ASAP. 

    Stories about dangerous drone incidents could become an epidemic after this holiday season. Not what anyone wants. 

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