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Sun, Feb 05, 2012

FAA Again Delays New UAV Rules

While LAPD Fancies Itself Airspace Regulator

The FAA was widely expected to announce revisions in the rules limiting the use of small unmanned aircraft in national airspace by the end of January, but the agency has, without explanation, delayed any word of changes until sometime "this Spring," according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.


On its website, the FAA says it originally hoped to publish a rule last year: "In April 2008, the FAA chartered an Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) to examine these operational and safety issues and make recommendations on how to proceed with regulating Small UASs. The agency has received the ARC recommendations, and is drafting a proposed rule. The FAA aims to publish a proposed rule in 2011."

The Times notes that in the Los Angeles area, realtors have been warned by the Los Angeles Police Department not to use images of properties taken using unmanned aircraft, noting they may be safety hazards and violate FAA regs.

Readers posting comments in an earlier LA Times story about the police warnings to realtors were almost universally critical of the LAPD for both overstepping its jurisdiction and threatening those who fly private UAVs below 400 feet AGL, while planning to do the same thing itself, and hovering full-sized, manned helicopters for long periods at low altitudes in the meantime.

FMI: www.faa.gov/news/fact_sheets/news_story.cfm?newsid=6287


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