Hobbyists have put a lot of money into the market of drones, especially in recent years.
Ian Gregor, a representative of the FAA, said that people were buying hundreds of thousands of drones a year, a sharp increase from just the few hundreds being purchased in the past.
The rising popularity of drones has meant that the FAA has to put more effort into educating the public on how to use drones safely; and relax rules to allow hobbyists to more easily obtain and fly their drones.
The FAA has allowed hobbyist pilots to own and fly drones without registering their tech, but they still have to follow the same rules and regulations that licensed pilots do.
Gregor says that as long as new pilots follow a few rules, they will be able to have fun with their drones safely in no time.
If you or someone in your family wants a drone this year, here’s some basic information:
- Drones can’t be flown within 5 miles of an airport without notifying the appropriate authorities and obtaining permission.
- Pilots can’t fly drones over crowds or near situations that require emergency responses, like natural disaster zones or car accidents.
- Pilots can’t fly drones higher than 400 ft, and the drone must be in the pilot’s line of sight for the duration of the flight.
Privacy laws and the specific regulations depend on what state and city the pilot lives in. For example, trespassing laws differ by region, and in places like Nevada, if a property owner asks you to stop flying over their land, you are legally obliged to respect their wishes.
The majority of drone pilots follow the rules set by the FAA; across the country, the FAA has only had to address 50 cases that required enforcement in recent years.
Gregor is impressed by this number, because the number of hobbyist pilots compared to the 50 cases shows that pilots tend to follow the rules.