When I first heard the word drone I thought ‘danger’. We’ve all heard horror stories about cities, towns, and countries being put under the ever watchful eye of militant drones. However, I soon learned drones are becoming more popular in a recreational context.
Some of the more popular uses for drones are photography and videography. Drones, or UAV’s, are also quickly becoming popular for commercial uses such as farming, conservation and seed planting.
So what’s the fear with drones?
There is a stigma that comes along with drones, belonging to the fact that drones were originally used in military practices. Recreational drones are much smaller, and much less dangerous looking, so what’s the problem?
A lot of non-UAV users are uncomfortable with the fact that drones are equipped with cameras, and can be used from a distance. This only fuels the paranoia that you’re being watched by the government or that your privacy will be invaded.
Which is valid.
The FAA rules and regulations state that drones must be within user’s sight, and can’t fly near people, but there are no rules on what the cameras can be used for. The only clear stated regulation is where the FAA draws the line between what is commercial and recreational use. Personal privacy seems to be the biggest issue; no one wants their space invaded.
However, you’re probably safe with simple recreational drones.
Drones such as the DJI 3 and Phantom only have a 23 minute fly time and depending on the UAV’s controller and antenna, the drone may not have the range needed to go farther than the FAA’s regulated distance without losing camera visuals.
With the rising numbers of recreational drone users projected to hit 30,000 by 2020, there’s concern that drones will cause more security issues around areas such as airports or in the case of emergencies. These concerns fall back to the updated rules and regulations, though.
Drones are not allowed to fly near airports, and it’s generally frowned upon to fly them around games, other people’s homes, churches etc. Drones are also not given clearance to be out of the eyesight of the pilot. Since after a certain distance the only viewpoint is what the camera can see, it becomes dangerous for a pilot to let their drone out of their line of sight. Responsible users keep their drones near, also knowing that if a drone goes too far they can lose GPS signal and control of their drone.
Along with the growing number of drones, there have been ideas thrown around on how to improve security, and other regulations that can be put in place to make sure mishaps are avoided.
Drone culture isn’t perfect yet, and there are still various problems and holes in the rules for what is acceptable and what isn’t. There is a bright future ahead for the use of recreational and commercial drones, and it doesn’t plan on stopping.
With the growing queue of information to read, opinions are also growing and changing, so while people can decide for themselves, personally, I’d say there’s not real threat from recreational and commercial drones.
But we’re all different, aren’t we?