In a notice to its field inspectors, the Federal Aviation Administration said a video posted on the Internet that appears to have been shot using an unmanned aerial vehicle "does not automatically constitute a commercial operation or commercial purpose, or other non-hobby or non-recreational use."
The Federal Aviation Administration is at work crafting the rules that will govern commercial drone flight, but in the meantime, it's fielding a growing number of requests for exemptions to the current flight ban. Earlier this month, the FAA had received 78 applications for commercial drone use, and it expects to ramp up the issuing of experimental certificates for drones used in surveying and research.
The Federal Aviation Administration has published a drone policy document for public comment and among the drone uses it's banning for now are delivery of goods -- the plan proposed by Amazon Prime Air. "If an individual offers free shipping in association with a purchase or other offer, FAA would construe the shipping to be in furtherance of a business purpose," the FAA document says, "and thus, the operation would not fall within the statutory requirement of recreation or hobby purpose."
The Federal Aviation Administration said the agency plans to hire 10,000 air traffic controllers over the next 10 years. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, meet age requirements and be willing to relocate to one of 315 FAA sites across the U.S. Applicants must also display "three years of progressively responsible work experience, or a Bachelor's degree, or a combination of education and work experience that totals three years."
The Federal Aviation Administration is firm on its position that unmanned aerial vehicles cannot be used for any kind of commercial purpose, including photojournalism. Photographer Jesse Tinsley of The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash., recently used a quadcopter to take an aerial video of swimmers running into Lake Coeur d'Alene on New Year's Day; the video was posted on the paper's website. Tinsley said he believes it was OK, because the video was made on his own time, but the FAA disagrees.