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Drones: What you need to know, part one

YUMA, Ariz.-

Drones have taken flight throughout the United States. The Federal Aviation Administration reports more than 400,00 drones were sold during the recent holiday season.

“Drones are one of the hottest sellers around here locally, across the United States and across the world,” said Ed Ramirez the owner of Fast Eddie’s RC Hobbies. “They vary in size and price all the way from $29.99 all the way up to $1,500.”

From drones that can fit into the palm of your hand to drones that have a built in GPS system and most come equipped with a camera. The FAA requires certain drones to be registered.

“Any drone that is over half a pound all the way up to 55 pounds has to be registered with the FAA,” said Ramirez. “It’s actually very easy to register your drone. All you have to do is go to the FAA website and there is a section on their to register your drone. Just click on the link fill out a simple form, you’ll then pay your five dollar registration fee and they will give you a number that you will put on the side of your drone.”

Failure to register your drone could result in a $27,500 for a civil penalty and up to $250,000 for a criminal penalty, according to the FAA.

Arizona legislators want to make sure upcoming drone laws protect people’s privacy, but also allow for drones to be used for commercial use.
With drone technology advancing even the smallest unmanned aircraft have built-in cameras. Making some Arizona cities nervous about their privacy. So nervous they are creating their own strict ordinances against drones. Arizona legislators say these ordinances could get in the way of businesses using drones to deliver packages and are currently working on a state wide law allowing drones to be used for commercial use within the FAA rules and regulations.

“It’s a new technology it crept up on us fast and we are scrambling to get something reasonable,” said Arizona Senator John Kavanagh proposed a recent drone bill, which passed the Arizona Senate Committee. If passed the bill would void the harsh ordinances set by cities in Arizona and also prohibit the use of drones near public facilities.
“The impotence for this current law was the fact individual cities and towns were passing their own regulations some of them unbelievably restrictive which would have precluded any type of commercial usage,” said Senator Kavanagh. He goes on to say privacy is still a big concern of theirs as well, “We are working very diligently to satisfy the concerns of the local governments to protect the privacy of their citizens.”

Kavanagh says the FAA is behind on drone regulations and are trying to make more rules. Meaning any state laws set now will probably have t be changed in the future, “They admit they are way behind the curve and they are trying to do a quick catch-up so any law that we pass this year will probably have to be modified based upon changes the FAA makes for the overall regulation of drones.”

Kavanagh sees the commercial use of unmanned aircraft as a positive step, “Drones are going to assume a major role in commerce, government and recreation not just in Arizona but nationwide.”

Amazon is already testing out their new drone service that will deliver pacjages in 30 minutes of less. Something that could change the way items across the country are delivered.

“I would like to see commerce using drones to get deliveries to people quickly safely and at a very low cost. I think it would be a phenomenal revolution in the way we do business just like the internet has revolutionized business,” said Kavanagh.


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