Technology 3 min read

Look out for the DAC's Newest UAV Regulations

Look out for the DAC's Newest UAV Regulations

The Drone Advisory Committee (DAC) held its second meeting to further regulate the use of commercial drones. The DAC, after reviewing three draft statements, has approved the first two proposals and is working to finalize the third.

The #DAC recently met and agreed on new commercial UAV regulations.Click To Tweet

While the use of drones for industrial, commercial, and personal purposes is growing exponentially in the United States, regulations are taking a long time to catch up.

Long-Overdue UAV Regulations

On January 31, members of the Drone Advisory Committee held their second meeting in Reno, NV.

During the meeting, participants reviewed three proposals that cover some general applications:

  1. The roles and responsibilities of federal, state, and local governments in regulating and enforcing drone laws: Approved after amendment.
  2. Technological and regulatory mechanisms that would allow drone operators to gain access to the airspace beyond what the agency currently permits under the Small UAS Rule: Approved after amendment.
  3. Funding to offset the cost of supporting unmanned aircraft integration into the nation’s airspace: DAC sent its feedback on the third statement to the FAA. To be finalized over the coming weeks.

These UAV regulations are been long-overdue. In response to non-military UAV market growth, the Drone Advisory Committee was established in 2016 to address the lack of regulatory framework. The DAC was created to support the FAA and by suggesting the appropriate plan of action regarding the safe integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems into the National Airspace System.

On 21 June 2016, the FAA introduced initial UAV regulations on the use of commercial UAVs. Among these original measures were procedures for flying a drone and a simplification of the authorization process for using a drone.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention and Regulation

If necessity is the mother of innovations, war is the mother of all necessities. Military technologies are responses to direct threats to security and survival, and they often take precedent over civilian developments.

In the case of drones, their framework was designed entirely for military purposes. What’s more, many other technologies were first developed for military purposes.

Perhaps the most emblematic example is the Internet itself, which was originally developed for military communication. Satellites, GPS, medical imagery, intelligent textiles, nanotechnologies, airbags, infrared detectors, and several other technological advances in the military field were only subsequently adapted for civil applications.

The increasing use of drones raises many questions about respect for civil liberties and privacy. More and more efficient and equipped with advanced accessories, drones make it possible to collect, store, and transmit a lot of sensitive information, raising legal and sociological questions. However, drones regulations are still insufficient, and the use of drones could give way to numerous abuses of law and privacy.

Since the first Industrial Revolution and the invention of the lightbulb, we have frequently modified our necessities. We survived before we could use automobiles to travel, but the benefits of automobile technology created needs including regulation. Such is true in the case of drones, for example, as investments, new adapted infrastructures, and regulations will have to be adopted to answer the use of the technology.

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

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