(Source: USA Today)
Since 2012, 15 states have enacted laws restricting drones in some way, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), which tracks state laws.
And if New York City Council Member Dan Garodnick gets his way, drones will be banned in the Big Apple, except for police with a warrant, as soon as this year.
Garodnick insists he’s not a technophobe. He said he agrees with people who argue that unmanned aircraft systems have enormous potential to help society, including monitoring structures as they are being built or to help find missing people.
But Garodnick said he is worried about the ability of law enforcement to hold drone operators responsible for illegal or bad acts, especially in a crowded city like New York.
If a helicopter crashes into a group of people, the pilot will also likely be hurt. But if a drone crashes into people, the pilot may be nowhere to be found, Garodnick argued.
“There are a lot of very important uses for drones that exist, but until we have the ability to enforce the rules, we are not at a point to grant permission,” Garodnick said in an interview with USA TODAY.
Across the country, state and local governments are grappling with a confusing array of questions about how to deal with drones, which hold great potential to help society as well as untested privacy and security risks.
Drone advocates say the rising plethora of restrictions threaten to leave the U.S. behind at a time when the drone industry is growing. Drone spending is on track to hit $91 billion worldwide in the next ten years, according to aerospace and defense industry research group Teal Group.
“This is an incredibly important industry,” said John Frankel, founding partner of ff Venture Capital, which is an investor in drone operator SkyCatch. “It will create an enormous number of jobs in the US and abroad. It will open up enormous efficiencies for existing businesses and industries.”
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com