Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or “drones”) are expected to be hot sellers this Christmas shopping season, with the Consumer Electronics Association estimating 700,000 of them will be sold by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration is struggling to get its arms around a possible registration system for these small aircraft, plus regulations to help ensure their safe commercial and recreational use.
Do you worry about your personal safety or your privacy with so many in the air? Or are you more worried that the heavy hand of government regulations will stifle beneficial or recreational uses of drones?
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There need to be regulations regarding the use of drones around airports, airplane flight paths, government buildings and military installations.
However, when the federal government in today’s environment gets involved in regulations, it becomes a case of “Big Brother is watching you.”
We should be able to fly recreational drones in parks and near or on our own property.
Making reasonable rules requires a well-thought-out process.
It is not something that can be done simply to meet a very-near-term, arbitrary and not-well-planned deadline.
I’m not concerned about personal privacy, of which we now have almost none anyway.
Walter H. Delashmit, Justin
I build and fly simple, traditional stick-and-tissue airplane models powered by quiet electric motors that are radio-controlled.
They never get above an altitude of 100 feet.
Because camera drones have GPS stabilization, you don’t really have to learn to fly a drone; you drive it.
I fly airplanes because they demand skill to fly and paint a picture in the sky.
The most frequent question I get when I’m flying a tiny biplane is: “Is that a drone?”
Traditional model airplane people are in danger of getting sucked into this drone-control debate.
Like the issue of pointing lasers at aircraft at night, law enforcement needs to catch people flying drones near airports and make examples of them.
If registering large drones at purchase is necessary, OK. But leave the model planes out of it.
Griffin T. Murphey, Fort Worth
I believe the government will make people register drones, and if they want to dodge this action, they should buy one ASAP, before the oversight begins.
This Christmas would be a perfect time to give one as a gift. I may even buy one for myself.
I’ve always wondered what my neighbors on the other side of my back fence are laughing about.
Mike Uzzel, Benbrook
Drones that are capable of carrying any payload, including cameras, should be registered as weapons.
It is only a matter of time before we will hear of a drone carrying a gun, explosive or incendiary device being used in a criminal manner.
If you have any doubts that this is feasible, you need only go to YouTube and enter “Quadcopter with gun.” There you will see a number of videos showing quadcopters used as various forms of weaponry.
These are off-the-shelf models that are available today and for sale to anyone with the money to buy one, no questions asked.
Ron Streetenberger, Euless
I don’t worry much about my personal safety. I’m very concerned about air safety and accidents, not only near large airports but hundreds of smaller airports throughout the U.S.
George J. Anthony, Fort Worth
The term drone is now used to describe anything that is remote-controlled.
I ask, “Is your child’s remote-controlled Barbie doll Jeep a drone?” I get a blank stare.
I have no fear of drones and feel that stores should sell all that folks will buy.
However, existing law needs to be applied so that if you fly your unmanned vehicle into your neighbor’s home, expect to be liable.
The likelihood of an accident and the consequences of an accident should deter those of us who operate in safe practice from operating outside of a safe zone such as a controlled club field.
I think the simple direction for the FAA should be:
If you fly outside of a safe zone, without a license, with an unmanned vehicle that is capable of reaching the altitude of manned aircraft, or fly inside no-fly zones, you will be held liable.
Frank Rowell, Arlington
On a limited basis, drones may have a legitimate place commercially, although rules and regulations may be in order.
However, recreationally, they may be in the hands of irresponsible people, putting innocent, unsuspecting people and property at risk — also adding clutter of nonretrievable crashes.
Then the heavy hand of government enters.
Therefore, I’m not in favor of recreational use.
We have enough “stuff” going on in our society. Let’s not add to it.
Isn’t it enough that we have to be concerned about terrorists sabotaging our airlines and much of our lives in general?
Eva Snapka, Arlington