What You Need to Know Before You Buy a Drone

Wichita, Kansas (KSN) – Drones have been becoming more popular among enthusiasts, and they have been flying off the shelves. But before you invest, there are several rules you need to know.

Knowing the rules is where it gets tricky. The FAA has proposed a long list of what you can’t do when flying a drone.

“We just need to ensure that the public is responsible with using their own hobbyist,” said Nathaniel Hinkel, KDOT Division of Aviation Marketing & Outreach.

Some of those proposed rules include the following:

  • Weighs less than 55 pounds
  • Flown below 400 feet
  • Can’t be flown beyond sight of the operator
  • Need to stay outside 5 miles of an airport.
  • Need to see and avoid other airplanes

Hanger Hobbies owner, Josh Ikehorn, has seen a lot of interest but also concern.

“People that feel their privacy is being invaded, if they see one flying at all, they assume that it has a camera, and they assume that you’re taking pictures of them.”

The FAA’s proposed rules would prevent flying a drone over anyone not involved in the operation and would prohibit commercial use.

“If you received any kind of compensation or hire or if you sold those pictures; you were taking pictures with that, that would be considered commercial purposes and that would be against the FAA rules,” added Hinkel.

But using drones, to help your business is not prohibited in the FAA’s most recent rules.

“The two large groups of people we sell drones to are real estate agents, they can take pictures of houses they’re selling, and farmers. They check fences. That would be the business side,” said Ikehorn.

Before any of the proposed regulations are final, the FAA is allowing public input. They know the stakes are high.

“The United States has the busiest, most complex airspace in the world. So, the FAA is taking its time to take a systematic approach to implementing the drones, unmanned systems into what is already a very busy airspace,” said Hinkel.

 

There is not set date for when the rules will be finalized. It will be sometime next year.

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