Controversy takes flight as drones crowd airspace

Laiken Yerby, Co-editor

Controversy has flown in via the drone.  Americans have been taking up the hobby of building, buying and then flying these unmanned aircraft, but is it safe?  As of right now there are believed to be problems, such as the unmanned aircraft getting in the path of planes and random people operating drones.

Personally, I don’t see the point of drones outside of military use and to capture images for the purpose of filmmaking.

As of last year, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was working on creating regulations for those who want to fly a drone. One of these regulations would be having to have a pilot’s license.

I don’t think requiring a pilot’s license to operate a small drone in the safety of someone’s own facility is sensible.  Small drones are technically toys for men going through a mid-life crisis, and requiring a license would be outrageous.  These small drones seem to be nothing different from a high-tech remote control airplane.

However, the idea of some sort of license or training isn’t all bad.  This would possibly mean that drone operators would have to communicate with air traffic controllers in order to avoid air traffic.  Having to communicate with air traffic controllers would be great, but I only think it’s needed for those who are operating large drones that can get in the path of planes. I think when using a larger drone for a business, a person needs to be trained on how to operate a drone properly in order to keep people safe.

On top of a pilot’s license, other regulations would be that the operator needs to know how high he is flying a drone and that the drone would have to be in the sight of the one flying it at all times.  These regulations have been proposed because of the possible danger of drones getting in the way of planes.

These regulations seem reasonable due to the fact that they address public safety.

Companies like Amazon plan to use drones for their business.  Amazon has come up with Amazon Prime Air as an alternative of a car delivering one’s packages.

On the Amazon website for Prime Air, the company says that once the FAA gives permission that one day the drones will be “as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today.”

I don’t particularly see the need for a small aircraft to deliver what I purchase online, nor do I see the normality in it.  It raises questions for me of how they will keep these unmanned aircraft flying safely and make sure the package would be delivered as rapidly as 30 minutes like promised.  Research on how Amazon Prime Air really works revealed that to be eligible one would have to live within a 10-mile radius to a distribution center and the drones can only carry items up to five pounds.

How would Amazon keep a person from stealing or shooting a drone down or how does it know where exactly to drop the package?  What if one lives in an apartment complex?  A drone just doesn’t seem very beneficial; it sounds more time-consuming.

Even though I don’t see the need for drones, I realize that times are changing and drones are possibly the new camera and mail carrier.