Drone delivery services have been in a holding pattern for a while now, waiting for the FAA to release regulations, particularly with regards to commercial drones. The FAA has delayed releasing those regulations for a number of reasons, including its desire to solicit comments and questions from the public regarding the applicability of the FAA Modernization Reform Act of 2012, which regulates “model aircraft,” to drones. A recent report released by the FAA details the number of drone incidents reported this year — unsurprisingly, there are a lot, and that number only seems to be growing.
The tally involves all the times air traffic control has reported a drone-related incident, so the report doesn’t include unreported drone incidents, or those handled by local law enforcement. After looking at the list, it’s easy to see why drones have been a sticking point for the FAA, and why people are increasingly concerned about safety issues. While commercial drones are currently still illegal, recreational drones are legal, provided they stay within an elevation of 400 feet and avoid airports, airplanes, and dive-bombing people. Easier said than done, though.