Thursday, August 20, 2015
How do you rein in a wildly popular consumer machine? For example, a drone. Irresponsible operators have been flying them at airports near landing aircraft. Other users have flown them over private homes and back yards where they spy on the activity of neighbors. Still others have flown them over popular venues like Times Square. The Federal Aviation Administration by law can't control their use, so they must find ways to stop illegal activity without direct regulation. One way to proceed is to mount a PR campaign on proper and improper drone use. That will reach users who are unaware of the limitations. It won't stop those who flagrantly violate the law, but it might reduce incidents of casual users violating air space. The FAA will still have to find anti-drone systems to catch deliberate misuse of quadro-copters. Better communications will help and at this point, PR appears to be the only way to control drone use.