Media zooms in on university’s drone class

Their mission? Create a glittering logo in the night skies promoting the next Star Trek movie. This could not be done over Hollywood or New York Harbor. The FAA is under orders to open U.S. skies to commercial drones by late 2015, and it’s in the process of writing the rules. But two years is an unprofitable eternity for an industry already exploding in other countries.

A recent report by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International predicts an economic impact of $13.6 billion in the first three years of the integration of drones into our airspace. No wonder more rogue drones are appearing week after week. “Some people are taking their chances and doing it anyway,” said Egan. “The FAA’s enforcement is inconsistent, but people are finding the loopholes in the rules.”

Jump on YouTube to see all the dizzying angles, the sweeping visuals that hobbyists are filming with drones. Drones circle the Statue of Liberty and dart under the Golden Gate Bridge. The FAA recently grounded a Minnesota business, Fly Boys Aerial Cinematography, after someone alerted the agency.

On March 25, some people say the first published drone photo in a newspaper (at least in Missouri) appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The photographer, Chris Lee, an unmanned aerial vehicle hobbyist, used his own machine and his personal camera on his day off to take a panoramic shot of a sledding hill. But a few years back, the News Corp.’s iPad newspaper used what was called “a journalistic secret weapon” to record flooding over Alabama, Missouri and North Dakota.

The FAA sent the group a letter with a warning, according to Reuters. That was hardly as serious as the FBI investigation about a drone that last month came within 200 feet of a commercial jet landing at New York’s JFK airport. (Or as serious as the case of the Massachusetts man who plotted to load the explosive C-4 on three remote-controlled airplanes for an attack on Washington, D.C. He got 17 years in prison.) Last year, the NFL petitioned the FAA to speed up regulations for commercial users.

Sign up for our newsletter

Newsletter: Innovations in K12 Education
By submitting your information, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

"(Required)" indicates required fields