Q: Let’s start with a review of the regulatory environment. Where do we stand?
Rys: Drone technology has gained traction very quickly. This caught regulators unprepared to deal with some of the real risks that come with this technology. Just last week the FAA part 107 rule made it easier to start a commercial drone business. Europe is still developing drone regulations, making it difficult to start commercial drone operations there. In the US, it is now required for all drone users, including hobbyists, to register drones weighing over 250 grams – a bit over half a pound. A drone can’t fly higher than 400 feet and can only fly during daylight hours.
Drone use is restricted to visual line of sight. This means companies like Amazon, who have explored using drones for delivery, cannot use the FAA part 107 rule. Amazon and others will not find it all but impossible to use drones for fulfillment until drone traffic control is developed and FAA figures out how to regulate that.