Opinion: The FAA continues to misunderstand drone hobbyist

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According to the Tampa Tribune the FAA has sent a warning letter to Jayson Hanes, a drone hobbyist, stating: “This office has received a complaint regarding your use of an unmanned aerial vehicle for commercial purposes referencing your video on the website YouTube.com, as evidence. After a review of your website, it does appear that the complaint is valid.” Also according to this article, Hanes has attempted to reach out to the FAA who has not responded to his request. Drone hobbyist/enthusiasts fly their vehicles in hopes of seeing the world from different angles, producing interesting and unique photos and videos that many of us enjoy.  As long as they avoid flying in restricted areas, or invading people’s privacy, they should be able to do so without government intrusion. The FAA is trying to catch up and ensure that privacy and security concerns are addressed.  We respect the fact that this technology is moving faster than government agencies are able to and completely understand that gaps will continue to exist between the needs of hobbyist and government regulation. However, it is time for government agencies to stop going after the every-day hobbyist and focus on creating a structure that will enable the use of drone technology for the betterment of society.  To ensure that those that wish to use this technology commercially to assist in agriculture, mining, exploration, and countless other positive uses are able to do so with minimal friction and cost.  Let us focus on creating a better society, not a more heavily policed one.

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