US Senate Debates Increased Legislation for Recreational Drones

The US Federal Aviation Administration has recently been receiving increasing amounts of reports about unmanned drones flying dangerously close to piloted aircrafts and over busy airports in New York, Minneapolis, and Austin. This has raised concerns in the US Senate and lawmakers are debating the need for increased legislation on recreational drones.

Current legislation prohibits flying an unmanned aircraft anywhere near a manned aircraft. Such actions may result in fines of up to $25,000 and criminal charges. However, the existing legislation does not address hobby drones.

Both professional and hobby drones can create significant damage both to aircraft engines and structures. According to US lawmakers, the altitude and areas where recreational drones can be flown must be regulated, just as it already is for professional drones. It has been suggested that hobby drones should not be allowed to fly higher than 120 metres or travel within 8 kilometres of an airport. The new legislation, if passed, would also require drone manufacturers to install basic technological safeguards on drones.

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