The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) have something else to march about: ALPA now wants Congress to require small drone owners to pass an online training course before being allowed to operate their devices.
ALPA president Tim Canoll described his proposal during a Feb. 1 briefing with journalists in Washington DC, ATWOnline reports. ALPA wants small consumer drones locked by the manufacturer until operators obtain a “key code” by passing an online training course.
“I’d like [UAV manufacturers] to voluntarily do it, but I believe if we could mandate it, it would take a lot of pressure off them,” he said, saying that the federal government “would have to outline what the education curriculum is” for the online training course. Canoll said the proposal should be included in 2016 FAA reauthorization legislation.
Canoll called the locking/key code proposal another “layer” of safety on top of the FAA drone registration program, and repeated again ALPA’s assertions that drones pose a significant risk to commercial planes.
The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) and other drone industry organizations have been vocal in their disapproval of the registration process: stating that it is unnecessary, ineffective, and possibly illegal. In response to the AMA’s efforts to work with the FAA to modify the registration requirements, which they feel are a burden to their members, the ALPA president was aggressive, warning, “If they try and weaken the registration requirements, they’re going to get a fight from us … I have a lot of respect for the modelers … The problem is there are a lot of people out there [using small UAVs] who aren’t modelers, who are out there just operating a toy.”
ALPA’s call for further restrictions on hobby drones came one day prior to the announcement of new legislation aiming to support innovation in the drone industry, and publication by Representative Shuster of the draft 2016 FAA Reauthorization Bill.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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