FAA: New Drone Flight Restrictions

The Federal Aviation Administration announced that drones will be prohibited from flying over federal prisons and Coast Guard facilities. The FAA flight restrictions will take effect July 7, 2018, at over 19 prisons and 10 Coast Guard facilities. The purpose of the restrictions is to keep drone flights outside of a 400-foot radius of federal facilities. Operators who violate the flight restrictions may be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges including up to a year in prison.

It is the widespread availability of commercial drones that pose the greatest threat. There are more than one million federally licensed drone operators, and most of them fly by the rules, but not everyone. That being said, law-enforcement and national security officials added “prison breaks” as a potential ill use.

Drone incidents at prisons have been on the rise. In July 2015, a fight broke out at an Ohio prison when a drone dropped tobacco, marijuana, and heroin to an inmate. In July 2017 there was an escape from a South Carolina prison, where an inmate chopped his way through a fence using wire cutters that prison officials suspect were dropped by a drone. The inmate was captured 1,200 miles away in Texas. In September 2017, Arizona prison officials said a drone carrying drugs and cellphones crashed in the prison yard.

Most of the danger from the commercial drone boom here at home has been in the category of nuisance offenses. Under current law, hobbyists and commercial users must keep unmanned aircraft below 400 feet, and avoid flying within five miles of an airport to avoid endangering commercial aircraft. Even small drones can disable a passenger jet by getting sucked into and destroying a jet engine. Still, some recreational drone users ignore the law. In the first nine months of 2017, there were 1,696 drone sightings in illegal airspaces. The FAA expects the problem will get worse as the number of drones is estimated to triple to 3.5 million by 2021.


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Drones Provide Safety during Ramadan

During Ramadan 2018 (16 May-14 June), security staff at the largest mosque in the world will be using drones to fly high above the throngs of pilgrims to ensure public safety.

Saudi Arabia suffered a major tragedy during Ramadan 2015. During Hajj, two large groups of pilgrims traveling in opposite directions came together at an intersection near the Jamaraat Bridge. There was insufficient space for the people gathering which caused mass panic and a ‘crush’. It was estimated that at least 2200 people from 36 countries were killed. It was the deadliest event at Mecca.

Unfortunately, this was not the only tragedy to strike the holy land. The Al-Haram Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is an enormous complex normally capable of holding 900,000 worshippers. During Hajj (the annual period when many Muslims make a pilgrimage to Mecca) this capacity leaps to 4 million! On multiple occasions, hundreds or even thousands of people were killed during stampedes.

As a response to criticism of the tragedy, Saudi Arabia seems to be taking safety more seriously. The drones will be controlled by security forces who will be on the lookout for anyone acting suspiciously, as well as helping authorities to monitor the movements of people throughout Mecca. Accompanying the drones will be 25,000 cameras, 2,400 policemen, and 1,300 security patrols.

Drone technology is changing the world of safety. In the next year, almost 2.3 million of the unmanned aircraft will be sold. Right now, is the perfect time to launch your career into the sky, starting with our FAA Remote Pilot in Command Certification Exam Prep!


ARE YOU INTERESTED IN OBTAINING A REMOTE PILOT IN COMMAND CERTIFICATE?

Individuals piloting drones for commercial purposes must pass the FAA Remote Pilot in Command  Exam in order to obtain a certificate.
Certified Training Institute offers online video exam prep to ensure you pass the exam on your first try!

Summer Lovin’ for Your Drone!

Longer days and warmer temperatures can only mean one thing. Summer is around the corner. Drone owners are rejoicing all over the country. Summer is the most popular time for drone pilots to head outdoors. While it is tempting to charge those batteries and head outside, there are some safety standards to keep in mind when it comes to flying your drone in the hot summer months. Be sure to ask yourself these three questions before you head out.

Is it too hot to fly my drone today?

The ideal temperature to fly a drone is 75° Fahrenheit.  With that said your drone will still perform above 75°. All electronics with moving parts including drones are going to generate heat, so, the higher quality drone will do better in the hot summer sun. Avoid those hot days where the mercury levels are high, this will cause unnecessary wear and tear on the computer and battery systems. Don’t forget to store your drone in a place that doesn’t get extremely hot, as that can cause long-term damage to your drone.

How humid is it?

Not only does summer bring high temperatures, it may also bring a lot of humidity. Some U.S. cities have average relative humidity levels over 72 percent. This means that in the summer, there can be more moisture in the air than you might realize.

When it comes to humidity, you should worry more about where you store your drone. Flying a drone in a humid weather shouldn’t feel all that different from flying in a dry area. The key is to store it in a dry area, as humid air can condense on electronic parts and cause major problems. If you don’t have a dry place to store your drone, consider running a dehumidifier to prevent damaging moisture build-up.

Are there too many people to fly in this area?

Drone pilots aren't the only ones who will be outdoors when the weather is nice. Just about everyone under the sun is outside enjoying the sun during the summer months. For drone pilots, it’s important to keep these crowds in mind when flying. The last thing you want to do is to accidentally crash into someone at a busy park. It is best to fly your drone in less-crowded places, this way you won’t accidentally cause harm this summer.

The summer months should be all about fun times and sunshine. By following these key points, you can be sure that your drone makes it through the summer unscathed.


ARE YOU INTERESTED IN OBTAINING A REMOTE PILOT IN COMMAND CERTIFICATE?

Individuals piloting drones for commercial purposes must pass the FAA Remote Pilot in Command  Exam in order to obtain a certificate.
Certified Training Institute offers online video exam prep to ensure you pass the exam on your first try!

Recent Video Puts a Spotlight On Safety Concerns Between Drones and Airline Aircraft

A recent video of a drone flying dangerously close to a passenger plane at McCarren International Airport in Las Vegas area has created tension between aviation lobbyist groups and drone manufacturers, with both groups denouncing the incident. In the video, the drone appears to be flying above Whitney Park, when the drone turns around a passenger plane is seen directly below it. The passenger plane does not appear to take any evasive actions, likely because the pilot was not aware of the drone.

Drone organizations have spoken out to condemn the incident.  Drone U said, “This pilot’s actions not only endangered the flying public but has the potential to discredit an entire sUAS industry.” They call for “swift and just punishment” and says there is no excuse for this criminal behavior. The Drone Manufacturers Alliance (DMA) did not respond to this specific incident but did release a statement to a Hawaiian crash between a helicopter and a drone emphasizing that “all drones pilots must follow laws and regulations about drone flights to keep the skies safe.”

In a joint letter by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), Airlines for America (A4A), and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), lawmakers were urged to restrict the FAA from applying any rules or regulations to drone operators for recreation or as a hobby. “Small drones are very difficult to visually acquire by pilots in flight or by air traffic controllers in the tower, and small drones do not currently have electronic anti-collision technologies that are compatible with airline collision avoidance systems.” The likelihood of a drone colliding with a passenger plane is increasing.

Right now recreational drones do not have anti-collision technology but are monitored remotely through local broadcast technology. If more incidents like Las Vegas occur, it’s likely that drone monitoring will have to change.

 


ARE YOU INTERESTED IN OBTAINING A REMOTE PILOT IN COMMAND CERTIFICATE?

Individuals piloting drones for commercial purposes must pass the FAA Remote Pilot in Command  Exam in order to obtain a certificate.
Certified Training Institute offers online video exam prep to ensure you pass the exam on your first try!