With both the New York Post and The Real Deal reporting instances of UAS being used for commercial gain it gain only be assumed that regulations have finally been relaxed to allow the use of sUAS in America. Good news indeed as the industry lags behind Europe Australia and South Africa in being regulated. Last heard the FAA was still undecided.
Patrick Egan sUASnews editor in field and RCAPA board member reported his experiences at the committee making recommendations to the FAA. He summed up what might happen for sUAS operators as follows:-
For the small operator…
Not much here as far as a business plan is concerned and more importantly great detriment to the technology and to any as yet proposed data collection concepts. It all came down to the last day and in a culmination of what I view as participant apathy, abandonment by the vendors and the views of the manned interests. Regrettably, this left us with little support for anything remotely resembling viability. That is not to say the vendors got too much in the way of goodies, but they can obviously and more easily deal with the hurdles and hoops put before them. Viability in this instance will put you in direct competition with the vendors or outside of the law. Again, not so much as a “back of the envelope” risk analyses, so science was replaced by feelings. Very disappointing to someone who can see the inherent benefits of this type of remote sensing.
Read his full report here
We have not seen any change to the law in the USA other than the requirement to report accidents and incidents with UAS weighing more than 300lbs that will be coming in soon. Anybody making claims of legal operation must be very sure of their position. Its interesting to note that one operator is keen to point out that his system is not capable of autonomous flight, its hand flown. The forward thinking CAA in England have thought ahead and that claim could not be used here. Any system with a camera is a UAS in the UK. We are sure thats a loophole the FAA will close when it finally decides to address this matter.