Referring to a recent incident in which a recreational drone nearly collided with a commercial aircraft, Hall criticized the FAA for its failure to address concerns of air traffic congestion in a timely manner.
“Officials still say they prefer public education campaigns. The FAA did propose rules in February, rules that have been in the works for years. There is no word on when regulations will actually be put in place,” the safety expert wrote.
Proposing measures to regulate drone use, Hall said US airspace needs to be closed to UAVs until clear rules have been put in place.
“Until drones are strictly regulated — including operating rules, registration requirements and penalties for interfering with other aircraft that have teeth — the FAA should ground any commercial unmanned aircraft operations,” Hall wrote.
“We’ve played Russian roulette with drones long enough,” he added.
This may be problematic, as a drone colliding with a jet engine could disable the aircraft. A collision with the body of a commercial jet could also potentially damage the surface of a plane. This could potentially affect airflow and make the aircraft difficult to control.
Fist time flying drone outside… First time getting yelled at to not fly drone.— Justine Ezarik (@ijustine) August 21, 2015
Firefighters battling California wildfires were forced to ground their efforts at least 13 times after rogue UAVs interfered.
These examples have led many to call for structured regulation for hobbyists and stiff penalties for violators.
As US officials grapple with how to regulate drones, the Consumer Electronics Association expects drone sales to skyrocket in the country. 2015 could see the sale of over 1 million recreational UAVs.