Online drone developer community MultiRotorForums.com has created a petition on WhiteHouse.gov imploring the Obama Administration to compel the FAA to drop their current charade of UAS governance and adopt the standards used by the United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority.
The petition points out that drones are already being used safely in a variety of industries and the FAA “shouldn’t seek to indirectly regulate commercial sUAS operations by better defining hobby usage,” but rather adopt the CAA’s guidelines for flying small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) which include:
- Being licensed via the Basic National UAS Certificate program. (Classes for certifying operators are held on a regular basis.)
- Remaining within line-of-sight of the operator
- Operating below 400 ft (above the ground)
- Operating within 500m radius of the pilot
- Staying at least 50m from the general public (150m from large gatherings of 100 or more people)
- Flying only certified sUAS (less than 20kg)
The petition concludes:
Commercial sUAS operators should be managed by an sUAS member-operator interest group to be overseen by the FAA. Peripheral issues such as privacy can and should be handled at the local/municipal level
Therefore, the FAA should adopt the UK commercial sUAS standards immediately so as to preserve the benefit of safe and low-cost sUAS aerial services for the tens of thousands of small business people that are already operating and employing them.
According to Bart Cocchiola of MultiRotorForums, “The UK standard is still evolving and there are less restrictions if aircraft are kept under 7kg but, as was mentioned above, commercial sUAS operators are up and running, for hire, organizing to remain competitive and connected to the regulatory process, and doing quite well for themselves… It is my belief that the UK BNUC-S standard will be the best way forward and the quickest path to get the sUAS problem resolved so that we can all go on with running our businesses and making our customers happy.”
Cocchiola hopes to have 100,000 signatures by August 3.