Sen. Charles Schumer is calling for immediate federal regulations for small drones. Schumer says he is urging the FAA and The Office of Management and Budget to expedite the release of rules for the unmanned aircrafts.
Two drones were recently spotted flying above the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Schumer says unregulated drone use is putting local passenger flights at risk.
“Had an airplane collided with one of the drones that entered this airspace it could have led to engine failure, a shattered windshield, and all kinds of damage. When there are planes filled with passengers flying above this airport it could be a very dangerous or deadly situation,” said Schumer.
The FAA has been developing drone usage guidelines for years. It recently submitted proposed rules, but they have been held up in the OMB for review. Schumer cited a recent uptick in drone use among private investigators and hobbyists. He says when there are no rules as to where, when, and how the drones can fly, it’s asking for trouble.
“We don’t want to dictate the rules. We’re happy to leave it up to the experts. We want them released and enforced. Even those who use the drones want rules so they know what’s okay and what’s not okay. Drone rules will protect our privacy so drones won’t be hovering out our bedroom window or following us in our car,” said Schumer. “I’m here to say no matter what the excuse is, we need drone rules on the books and we need them fast. We cannot wait for a deadly situation.”
Schumer says he’s not against drones. He says there are a lot of great uses for them in farming, rescue missions, and photography, but they must be regulated. He is calling for new regulations to be in place within the next few months.
What it looks and sounds like when a drone is in flight: