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4 Reasons Why Consumer GPS Drone Regulation Is Required

4 Reasons Why Consumer GPS Drone Regulation Is Required

Currently, regulation of consumer drones is extremely relaxed, with only airports and other no-fly zones restricting where UAVs cannot fly without permission. However, such a relaxed approach may prove to be one which puts the interests of all casual drone flyers at risk due to the carelessness of a select few individuals. A prime story

Currently, regulation of consumer drones is extremely relaxed, with only airports and other no-fly zones restricting where UAVs cannot fly without permission. However, such a relaxed approach may prove to be one which puts the interests of all casual drone flyers at risk due to the carelessness of a select few individuals. A prime story that comes to mind is the person who flew a DJI Phantom onto the White House lawn, albeit without any injury.

Yet, because of that incident, DJI released a software update using GPS location tracking which will prevent any of their drones from entering White House airspace. Following this argument, some believe that all consumer drones should be limited by the manufacturer to stay out of specific GPS-limited spaces such as airports and military establishments.

Why is this a good idea? Here are some points in favour of there being a GPS-based restriction for consumer drones:

  • Prevent Individuals from Endangering the Hobby for Everyone: If an individual such as the one who flew onto the White House lawn were to cause some severe problems, such as endangering an aircraft while it was taxiing on the runway, the entire community of hobbyists would be severely – and negatively – affected. It is therefore in the best interest of everyone that such individuals be prevented from putting others at risk.
  • Avoiding Knee-Jerk Reactions: If something catastrophic were to happen that involved personal recreational drones, there is every possibility that it could lead to a knee-jerk reaction by the authorities such as banning drones entirely until stricter guidelines are in place. It is for this reason that extra caution is required when operating a UAV.
  • Safety for New Operators: The majority of crashes involving drones are due to pilot error, especially by learners. Under such circumstances, an inexperienced pilot may end up in restricted areas such as an airport and may unintentionally cause a problem for others. GPS-based restrictions would circumvent this problem.
  • Protection of National Safety: Allowing consumer drones to fly unchecked may open the door to someone, posing as a hobbyist, to gain access to government establishments and then start streaming HD video directly to others. Such footage is invaluable to terrorist organizations and may put national security at risk.

So it’s our opinion that using GPS-based drone regulations is a very good idea. That said, it is a concept that is very difficult to implement since there are many flight controllers, such as KK2.1 or MultiWii, which do not have support for GPS at all. Mandating GPS may mean a huge shift in the industry and this may lead to numerous problems for those trying to build a drone on a budget. It is for this reason that drone regulation is a very difficult task and will require a lot of thought and work to implement.

Image via: Steve lodefink

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Naveed
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  • Gregory Smith
    May 21, 2015, 1:21 am

    I couldn’t disagree more, too many Americans forget that we’re supposed to be a FREE COUNTRY. Instead I see many people saying "licensed and insured" like it’s a good thing. Sorry, but licenses and regulations are evil, they protect monopolies, they discourage competition, they limit new people from entering a new field, and they are mostly ways for the State to earn fee.

    The Internet is great because it’s virtually unregulated. Housing and construction is expensive because that’s regulated to the death, ask anyone who’s a contractor and has to pull permits for every single thing.

    Among gun owners, we know that registration leads to confiscation, we saw it with our own eyes in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York State. Drone hobbyists should learn from our experience, we know what it’s like to deal with a government that wants to ban/limit your products.

    If you think cooperating with the dronephobes will help you, take a look at how smokers are treated today, "Big Tobacco" cooperated and now even electronic cigarettes are being persecuted.

    As for "Protection of National Safety," if you believe in that, you must enjoy those TSA patdowns. Here’s a newsflash, the TSA has not stopped a single terrorist attack, not one. The underwear bomber was stopped by a PASSENGER. If you’re afraid of terrorists using drones, the solution is more drones so you can catch them, not less drones so only they get to fly them illegally.

    I’m telling you, people, don’t make a deal with the government, they will screw you over.

    REPLY