So the thought of being able to order something online. Hear a whirring noise. And receive a parcel delivered by a drone within minutes moves a step closer....
Whilst we're not going to see mass drone flights like that just yet (the US Federal Aviation Authority said more research is needed there), commercial drone operators in the US did still celebrate this week as changes to rules announced by the FAA greatly relax current restrictions.
The FAA's new stance brings America more in line with the Civil Aviation Authority's rules here and is seen by many commentators as being a real enabler to innovation and progression in the drone industry in the States. The similarities with the rules here are most notably around:
- imposing an age limit
- 400 foot height limit for flights
- line of sight control
My colleague Martin has neatly summarised the rules in the UK in two of his recent Passles:
There's clearly a lot of flux in this industry. Whilst the FAA's new position changes nothing on these shores, they do represent a big vote of confidence to the drone industry in the US. By implication that's an enabler, meaning more competition in the marketplace.
But that's something that can only be a good thing for the wider drone industry.
The FAA rules are similar to those implemented by the UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The CAA's rules put in place in April this year also impose a 400ft height limit and the necessity for line-of-sight control.