Within a very short amount of time, commercial drones have become a valuable business tool for construction contractors, real estate professionals, and other businesses. As drones have entered the public mainstream, concerns of privacy and security have arisen. If you have considered using drone imagery in your own business but are concerned over safety or privacy infringements from using a drone, DroneBase’s focus on security and privacy will allay your concerns.
There is no doubt that drones can be misused – and the regulations set in place are vital to avoid injuries and improper use. One news report, for example, highlighted how drones have been used to spy on celebrities. Other news reports have focused on injuries that people have suffered from errant drones, including a photographer whose face and nose were clipped by a drone’s blades, and a handful of spectators who experienced minor injuries when a drone crashed into a crowd at a Virginia festival. As drone technology has improved, the industry has taken note of these early problems and has made great strides toward preventing them in future operations. Additionally, the FAA has set strict guidelines to ensure pilots are operating in a safe manner.
Multiple Initiatives Are Addressing Drone Privacy
Drones flying where they shouldn’t is a serious issue – and there isn’t yet a clear solution to the problem. There are some creative solutions being tested, such as anti-drone drones and nets flown by police to grab drones out of the sky. However, other more realistic solutions have emerged. One new technology uses a detector system to alert individuals and businesses that a drone is nearby. Additionally, lawmakers are also enacting new legislation to criminalize illicit spying by drones. In all, preventative laws and improved education of drone pilots will help to improve privacy concerns in the industry. Drone pilots need to be responsible with their technology, and respecting privacy is no different.
The Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) is Addressing Drone Safety
The FAA has adopted new rules and regulations for business use of drones and separate guidelines for private drone usage set to create a safe flying environment. The business rules are designed to standardize drone operation guidelines to improve safety across the industry. They include restrictions such as operating drones only during daylight hours, capping drone speed at 100 mph, and placing a 400-foot ceiling on maximum drone altitude. Commercial drones must also yield the right of way to other aircraft.
The FAA asks private operators to register their drones and to read and understand safety guidelines, which includes refraining from flying them near other aircraft, groups of people, and sporting events and stadiums. Educating pilots on where it is safe to fly greatly address concerns over safety
Private Commercial Drone Operators and Industry Associations are Adopting Even Greater Safety Standards and Mechanisms
Professional drone operators are enacting training standards for their own drone pilots and are requiring those pilots to continue their training and education throughout their careers. Drone manufacturers are also developing crash avoidance and similar safety systems. DJI’s Phantom 4 line of drones include object avoidance systems that automatically direct the drone around or over objects that are in their path. 3DR and other drone manufacturers incorporate safety systems into autopilot software to optimize flight safety. After-market vendors, like AirMap, give drone operators advanced tools to help them avoid drone flights that could endanger individuals.
Private industry groups, like the National Business Aviation Association (“NBAA”), are emphasizing the importance of safety for all operators of unmanned aircraft systems. The NBAA supports the “Know Before You Fly” and other initiatives that are designed to educate private drone pilots and professional operators on drone safety standards.
Drones Will Improve Safety and Privacy
Professional drone operators are assisting firefighters to locate blazes in remote locations, and are working with search and rescue operations to find missing persons. Imaging drones give safety crews information that would otherwise be unavailable, or that might endanger emergency responders who are not able to map out an unsafe situation before encountering it. Law enforcement authorities are using drones to locate missing persons and to apprehend criminal suspects via face-recognition technology. These drone applications are also improving the safety and security of police forces by using unmanned drones rather than live personnel in high-risk situations.
Drone safety is a major concern to all in the industry, including DroneBase. From improved regulation, product features, and pilot education there are many efforts under way to avoid drones being used in the wrong way. Additionally, drones are being used to improve safety in many ways. As this industry grows, we look forward to seeing more ways drones are improving the safety around us.
DroneBase remains committed to expanding drone safety and to enhancing privacy protections that may be affected by drones. Our number one priority is safety and privacy – and we ask our pilots to never fly in unsafe conditions. Please visit DroneBase.com or contact us for more information about how drones can help your business operations.