We’ve long passed the beginning of the end and are now certainly in middle-of-the-end territory with respect to the freedom to fly drones. The latest high-profile drone incident further ensures that drone piloting will remain a privilege and not a right, though rightly so, as some people apparently can’t exercise enough common sense to stay away from populated areas (i.e. Los Angeles) and critical city infrastructure (i.e. power lines).
Yesterday, almost 650 people were without power, according to SoCal Edison, after a drone struck power lines off of Sunset Blvd. near the popular Viper Room night club, whose Instagram account made note of the incident out front.
The FAA already requires any drone pilot operating commercially to maintain a current pilot’s license and proper registration and approval from the administration. New regulations are set to be decided upon and announced by November 20th, although there's a good chance more complete rules and regulations won't come until as late as 2017. Once those come out, in a perfect world, we could count on having to go through multiple training sessions and perhaps a written test to gain permission to fly drones commercially. That all makes sense and is much better/easier than the idea of every drone pilot having to get a pilot's license, which is quite expensive and time-consuming. The question remains, however: what will happen with regulations with regards to recreational drone piloting?
The pilot of this particular drone, his or her reasons for flying at this location, and the subsequent consequences he or she will face are all still unknown at this point.