Are you ready for drones buzzing over your head delivering packages, pizza and beer? Depending on how the government regulators and courts eventually decide that might just be in our future. A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) judge has ruled that commercial drones are indeed legal to fly our friendly skies, which strikes down an six year old FAA ban on commercial drones. Businesses contemplating a drone future are licking their chops.
Does the judge’s ruling mean drones have clearance for take off? At the moment. But the FAA could appeal the ruling to the US Court of Appeals, and common sense dictates that there will have to be some sort of regulation before the skies above us fill with small drones delivering all sorts of things and being used for tasks like viewing traffic patterns and filming movies.
Amazon caught everyone’s attention and sparked the conversation late last fall when it unveiled its efforts to develop drone delivery vehicles in a service it has dubbed Amazon Prime Air. And since we’re growing accustomed to lots of talk about the potential good and bad of what this good mean. When the FAA decided to issue a fine to Raphael Pirker for using a drone to film a commercial at the University of Virginia the legal and regulatory battles began. The NTSB judge’s ruling vacates Mr. Pirker’s fine.
The conversation even sparked a delightful spoof video from Netflix on the concept.
What are your thoughts about commercial drones? Are you up for a future that features drones delivering packages and performing services in the skies above your heads? Do you fear the privacy implications? What if your neighborhood watch decided to launch a drone monitoring service? This is an entirely new frontier open to a myriad of possibilities beyond just package delivery. We’ll certainly be following the story as it moves forward and also keeping a watchful eye on the skies. How about you?