Just in time for 2016, the FAA released a registration system and will require anyone currently operating unmanned aerial systems (UAS), otherwise known as "drones," to register by February 19 of this year. Although the FAA's legal authority over this issue is questionable and although this applies to anyone flying drones only within certain weight guidelines for hobby or recreational use outdoors, there are a number of reasons you should register in the next 10 days, even if these particular circumstances do not apply to you.
The Verge reported Tuesday that British hydrogen fuel cell technology company Intelligent Energy has been successfully testing a miniaturized version of a hydrogen fuel cell as part of a drone system with the intent to increase flight times. Through such hydrogen fuel cell technology, drones could start flying for up to and over two hours, which would be a six-fold increase over the current industry-standard 20-minute flight time for many drones.
When the terrorist organization, ISIS, isn't busy terrorizing people, they are apparently busy stealing photographer's artwork. In this day and age, it's not uncommon to have your work stolen. Heck, it's pretty common. But having the bane of the earth stealing your work has to be a new experience. That's not the end of the story though. It gets worse.
The FAA has been working on establishing rules and regulations for drone owners for several months, and today they have announced a mandatory registration law for drone operators that goes into effect on December 21 of this year. Starting on December 21, you will be to apply at the new FAA registration website.
As the legal situation involving drones continues to evolve and registration becomes an inevitability, many "drone registration" firms have begun to spring up. The FAA has made it a point to note that drone owners do not need to jump the gun, as registration is likely to be a simple and straightforward process, easily completable without outside assistance.
If you spent even a moderate amount of time on Facebook back in late September, you likely saw a viral video and photo about a wedding photographer who captured a genuinely heartwarming moment in which a bride's biological father stopped the wedding procession to grab the step-father from his seat so they could both walk her down the aisle. While millions of collective "awws" were emitted then, fast forward six weeks and now the situation has resulted in lawsuits and death threats involving the photographer.
AIG's recent move to begin insuring unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) marked the beginning of the first large, national insurance company to get ahead of (or catch up with) the "drone movement." Like this season's migration of Canadian geese, everyone seems to be flocking in droves, clearly intent on getting to the online shopping outlets and local electronics stores that sell the latest drones. But few actually know about how to use their newly affordable crafts safely and without risking their entire life's savings. A quick phone call with the Hill & Usher insurance agency led us to a few clues about where to start.
Not so surprisingly faster than the FAA, apparently, AIG sprung into action to allow drone operators and owners to purchase insurance that covers not only their drone and camera equipment, but also a number of other terrible things that can happen while you're piloting a UAV.
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).
Recently the New York Times revealed a staggering truth about modern photojournalism that has the field's ethics under scrutiny. It appears the acts of staging and manipulating images have become prevalent, which puts the field as a whole in question. Photojournalism is about capturing the truth and journalist often work under a strict code that incudes observation only. But the nature of competition has brought a staggering number of photojournalist to bend if not break this code by presenting images that they themselves setup under the guise journalism.
According to NBC News, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is getting close to announcing new rules for recreational drone use, beginning with the requirement to register every drone a person buys. Registration itself, however, is not a large obstacle to drone ownership and operation, as registration will only be able to help the FAA keep track of just how many there are and, hopefully, identify aircraft that break rules or cause collisions. But just how effective will this be? And what other laws will come in the way of recreational drone flight?