Welcome to the Academy of Model Aeronautics' Advocacy Blog. As the FAA looks to regulate the use of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) and as Congress and state legislatures consider legislation with potential impact on the hobby, this site will keep you informed of the latest news, events and industry updates, and serves as an outlet to let your voice be heard by AMA and key officials nationwide.
FLYING MAG: New FAA Drone Policy Disaster in the Making
Giving local law enforcement power over UAVs is a desperate move.
by Robert Goyer / Published: Jan 13, 2015
The FAA has just released new policy on how the underfunded, understaffed agency plans to police the many more than 100,000 new aircraft that are already starting to appear in our skies. It is, unfortunately, not the arrival of hordes of people-piloted craft but swarms of drones I refer to. Understandably the FAA wants to stand tough in its enforcement of remotely piloted aircraft, and to do that it either had to add thousands of inspectors to its payroll or do something else. The something else it chose to do was enlist local law enforcement in the effort. I think that was a huge collective groan I just heard and not only from pilots of airplanes and operators of remotely piloted airplanes but from local law enforcement as well.
The amount of money that goes along with enlisting law enforcement in this effort is, you guessed it, nada. Again, that is the budget that the FAA had to work with, so it’s hard to blame them for that part of it, unless you take into account that our law enforcement across the country is already busy enforcing a lot of less esoteric law, laws that with a few arguable exceptions really matter to all of us.
I won’t go into the details of the guidance the FAA issued to help law enforcement do this new work, but it’s really complicated, far more complicated than just about any other law that local police have to deal with, and that’s already a lot to be aware of and enforce.