Drones and the Law

Written by prodigitalweb

Drones – Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles – UAV

The growing role of unmanned aircraft vehicles- UAV, known as Drones will play an important role in our daily lives in the near future and sooner or later it would be inevitable when the privacy can be invaded, or a drone crashes or kills someone, or someone takes the law in their hand and shoots down a drone. These drones tend to fly in areas of the law which are confused and complex and many are debating on these unmanned aircraft vehicles which have started in the UK andare on the rise as the number of drones licenced for commercial flights by nations’ Civil Aviation Authority – CAA tends to grow. However, there seems to be a major issue blocking the movement in using unmanned aircraft technology where most of them are presently illegal. The Federal Aviation Administration –FAA has accepted that small drone does exist and has issued regulations as well as guidance enabling the use of these drones in certain situations. For instance, it has allowed model plane hobbyist to operate remote controlled airplanes as well as helicopters as long as their use is within the recreational limits. The agency has also issued experimental certificates for small unmanned aircraft to facilitate research and development in drone technology.

Establish Regulations – Drones

Presently however, regulations have not authorized the use of drones for commercial purposes which include agriculture and while several commercial drones have been operating under the belief that they are under the hobbyist category, FAA has stated that the use of drone for commercial use like crop scouting, does not qualify as hobbyist activity. Congress needs FAA to establish regulation in order to integrate commercial drone in national airspace by 2015 and the agency has started taking major steps in putting the necessary regulation in place. Presently it is focusing on the safety issues like avoiding a collision with other aircraft and building in terminations in cases, where a drone could lose contact with its pilot, making sure that the drones do not cause danger to people or property on the land. When the workable regulations are put in place by FAA, there could be great progress in technology and drones could prove to be a game changer in our life.

Trespassing & Nuisance

Though drone provides several opportunities, it could raise concern when in the hands of activists. There are two common law legal protections to prevent harassment from drones namely trespassing and nuisance. The law is not clear on where the landowner’s control of airspace terminates and public airspace begins. The modern understanding of property law is that property owners’ airspace rights extends to the space above the ground which is occupied or used with the land. Filing of nuisance claims can be done against drone operators if they tend to lead a substantial and unreasonable intrusion in the use of the property. Drones could also tend to be noisy which could frighten the livestock or irritate landowners thus causing a nuisance as well as reduce property value. All this need to be taken into consideration in the operating of drones for any given reason.


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