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Should Hobby Drones Remain Regulated?

Photo Credit: stuff.co.nz

Photo Credit: stuff.co.nz

Photo Credit: stuff.co.nz

Jake Tabor

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Over past few years, drones have become a popular piece of tech. Whether it be to capture a moment from a new perspective, or fly around your park or neighborhood. However, people have used their drones to an extent that have led to new laws being created. They can pose as a threat to airplanes and structures as well as a privacy issue for people. The question now is, should drones be prohibited for recreational use?

In a poll conducted by debate.org 56% of the voters said no that drones should not be banned from private use, while the remaining 44% said that they should be banned.

Those who were in favor of keeping drones argued that they can create amazing photos/videos and can be a fun toy. They argued that there are laws and regulations such as preventing drones from being anywhere in a five mile radius of an airport. Also maintaining a line of sight is required. Others also thought that drones can be useful for individuals in their businesses such as agriculture and research who don’t get special verification on their project.

The popular arguments for those who wanted drones banned thought that drones are devices that should only be in possession of by the government and that individual citizens can not be trusted. The pointed out that it can invade privacy as one could easily fly their drone over a person’s property such as their backyard. Others even claimed that drones could easily be weaponized.

Drones started out as a new piece of technology for the government used to spy or act in combat scenarios, then as toys you could pick up in your local hobby shop. Now anyone can purchase various types of drones reaching thousands of dollars. As the drone population grows, the regulations and rules emerge. Is it enough?

Another possible alternative to preventing drone mishaps is setting more regulations. One possible change the FAA could make, would be creating additional laws that ensure only people who would treat a drone responsibly could have one. As of now all the FAA has required is that the pilot keeps the drone in their line of sight, won’t interfere with any other moving aircraft, and won’t fly within 5 miles of an airport. This means that anyone can walk into a store and purchase one and suddenly have it causing trouble in the sky.

However, one might say that a drone weighing over 0.55 pounds must register it through the FAA. They could claim that a drone under that weight does not have the durability or the range to lead to an incident. Rules do still apply to drones weighing under 0.55 pounds and that violators could face serious charges. One person from the poll said that “ I agree that it should be regulated (I obviously can’t fly it near airports, for example), but completely removing that right is ridiculous. Drones can be a great learning experience for students as well as being useful for businesses and even ordinary people as a hobby” (debate.org)!

Today is it exciting to have a new piece of technology that’s gaining more and more popularity. However, like all vehicles and aircrafts, the responsibility of owning a drone needs to be ensured with drone safety.

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Should Hobby Drones Remain Regulated?