If you’ve been an avid drone fan for years now, you know how twisty and turny the rules and legislation about drone flying are. There’s no concrete rulebook on how you are allowed to fly your drone and where, except for a couple of basic ones (such as the restriction on flying a drone that weighs less than a kilo at more than 10 meters up, without a camera).
All that this accomplishes is confusion and lack of knowledge. However, things seem to be changing as the EU is supposed to start voting on new drone rules that should regulate certain issues. The main reason this is happening isn’t that the parliament is worried about what people think and how they understand the rules; instead, this is done for safety reasons.
You see, when you fly your drone in your backyard, there’s not a lot that can go wrong (except in some extreme cases). However, as soon as you leave that area, everything (and I really do mean everything) can go wrong. For starters, you might end up accidentally flying your drone above your neighbor and the battery dies. The drone will fall into his backyard and then what? It might hit him in the head, it might fall beside him. Are you ready to take that risk?
What are the changes?
Regarding the proposals themselves, they aren’t going to completely gut the drone market in Europe. If you’re a sensible person, you won’t have issues with what might get accepted in parliament. Some of these changes include introducing a maximum height limit for drones, registrations and even restrictions for flying. Although, when it comes to restrictions, they’re most likely going to be imposed in ‘sensitive’ areas such as embassies, nuclear sites, airports, and others.
One more issue that the parliament wants to resolve is noise pollution. See, non-drone people don’t necessarily take kindly to the whizzing of drone engines. And we all know how loud drones can get (there are some silent models but not everyone cares about noise). Therefore, we might see some noise restrictions as well, which would not necessarily be such a bad thing. Just think about what it could do for the drone market in general…This can go one or two ways – The first being that people will have to start purchasing models that are quieter than others (which isn’t good for the market, come to think of it). The second, presumably better than the first, would mean that drone companies will start producing quieter models for the long run, trying to keep noise levels at bay.
This is, of course, just speculation since we don’t know how everything will pan out. In any case, in a short period of time, we will definitely see new rules for drone flying, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing either. Take car driving as the perfect example – you pass your drivers test and receive a license, but this license doesn’t stop you from breaking the rules. But, when rules are in place, more people will start following them. There will always be those who don’t really care about safety or rules, but that’s a bridge that we’ll cross when we come to it. So, at the end of the day – the matter is looking like it could develop in a great way for drones… I for one am definitely up for safer, better protected but not overly-agressive drone regulations in EU.