FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 Affecting Hobbyist sUAS Drone Operators
The part of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 that affects drone hobbyists is getting a lot of attention lately. This is because the Act is going to enforce hobbyists to abide by the same rules and regulations that certified part 107 remote pilots must adhere too.
Consequently, no longer are hobbyists permitted to fly in the blind beyond visual line of sight. No longer are hobbyists permitted to fly in National Parks or National Monuments. No longer are hobbyists permitted to fly in controlled airspace without FAA authorization either. And in addition, no longer are hobbyists permitted to fly above 400 feet. And finally, no longer are hobbyists permitted to fly like a nonprofessional.
The airspaces are getting crowded and safety is a growing concern.
There are plenty of professional hobbyists who are not part 107 certified remote pilots. However, those hobbyists take their passion seriously-enough to apply for FAA waivers before flying even close to controlled airspace.
And what about hobbyists who live in the mid-west on vast acreage? Although those hobbyists are going to feel the brunt of this bill upfront, hobbyists can still have their concerns addressed through an amended Bill. To to address those issues, hobbyists must write their congressman to get those changes made.
Furthermore, a lot of this Bill has been in place since 2012. Since then, it was known and understood that government officials could “shoot down” or disarm a drone shpuld they believe that drone posed a security hazard. The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 is just enforcing an old ruling.
To summarize, this is a good Bill intended to make the skies safer for everyone. So let’s just put on the big-boy pants, start flying like professionals, and know it was a good run.
For a legal dissection of this Bill, I recommend visiting the following legal websites for the most accurate information regarding this matter, and not YouTube. I’m sure these attorneys will be posting the most accurate legal interpretation soon enough.
And if you are inclined to read the Bill and associated Policy legaleze, click the following links.