Special Air Space for Drones

Jul 29

Amazon has proposed  special air space for drones. According to CNBC at the Unmanned Aerial Traffic Management Conference put on by NASA and attended by the FAA Amazon has proposed reserving the first two hundred feet above the ground for hobby drone use, two to four hundred feet for commercial drone use and a buffer between four to five hundred feet.  This is a good proposal. After an initial review I see several areas of concern:

1. How does the operator know how high the drone is? Will an altitude display be required on the remote control or will the GPS software be required that prevents the drone from being flown in the wrong air space?

2.  It doesn’t address the current regulatory requirements of not flying a drone within five miles of an airport. One would be hard pressed to get five miles away from an airport in the Las Vegas Valley. Will the GPS software keep the drone out of no fly zones?

3.  Language needs to be put into place that the drone operator is required to not fly in the area when emergency air vehicles such as police, fire fighters or medical evacuation helicopters are in the area. Can software be installed so that when emergency air vehicles are in the area that the drones automatically land?

The next question is how much will the software and hardware add to the cost of a drone?