Last week, we asked you, our readers, for your thoughts on some of the issues related to small (under 55 pounds) drones. We were surprised to find that you had very strong views on the subject. How big a deal is the drone issue? According to the survey results, pilots think that it’s huge.
With a recent FAA study predicting an almost-unbelievable 420,000 unmanned vehicles operating in U.S. airspace by 2021, it’s no surprise that drones are a topic of interest for pilots of all types of aircraft. Issues of regulation have come to the forefront, along with questions of just how relevant all of the drone hype is to those of us who might have to share the air.
We asked whether the FAA should be allowed to control drone registration or if UAVs count as model aircraft—which, according to current law--the FAA can’t regulate. A whopping 81 percent thought that the FAA should have the authority to regulate drones, regardless of what they were called. Just 19 percent of survey respondents thought the FAA shouldn’t have the authority to regulate the registration of small drones.
When asked why, most people answered that the main reasons they believed FAA should be allowed to keep track of small drones are to both educate small drone owners about airspace and to be able to identify any violators that cause a near miss with aircraft.
See the original survey here.