Stories about drones getting dangerously close to aircrafts or routinely violating no-fly zones is something that has been reported here on this site. Though we certainly promote a less regulated environment where drone technology and drone use can thrive, we also want to make the practice as safe as possible.
As such, the intention of Sen. Charles Schumer to propose an amendment to legislation that is funding the FAA which specifically attempts to make manufacturers have a more active role in preventing such incidents from happening is understandable. He basically wants some form of technology that will keep drones out of no-fly zones and he wants the companies selling drones to be the ones to come up with this technology.
Citing such statistics as those of the FAA which shows how sightings of drones by pilots has gone up from 238 in 2014 to as high as 650 by August 9, Schumer certainly seems to have something to be concerned about. The senator made the sightings at Kennedy and Newark airports by pilots in just the last week an example to emphasize his point.
“It’s frightening,” he said. “All you need is for one of these drones to fly into an engine and a tragedy would result. There have been too many incidents lately.”
Supposedly, senator Schumer has been an advocate of such technologies as Geo-fencing before. With the lack of action though, he believes that passing a legislation in order to accelerate the sluggish process is the only thing left to do. He believes that the technology to make drones easier to control in terms of borders already exists or at least are being tested by manufacturers. It’s just a matter of implementing the technology in the real world now.
Schumer is also confident that his proposal will receive significant support from Congress.
He said, “When it comes to drones in the vicinity of commercial flights carrying hundreds of passengers at a time, the FAA has been playing whack-a-mole across the skies, and that’s certainly not good enough.”
Schumer acknowledges the importance of drones and drone technology for the future of mankind and knows that in the future, drones will be indispensable in fields like agriculture, reconnaissance and so on. However, he also believes that the technology poses certain dangers that the government cannot ignore. He points to the recent incident involving drones interfering with fighting wild fires as an aspect of drone use that must be addressed.