Regulation for safety or control? (1 Feb, 2019)

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Regulation for safety or control? (1 Feb, 2019)

Postby aardvark_admin » Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:57 am

This column is archived at: https://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2019/0201.shtml

I'm pretty gobsmacked at what you can do with a $12 GPS receiver, a $40 flight-controller board and a $28 long-range RC receiver these days.

The real question of course is: what danger does a sub-250 gram RC model make of frangible foam actually pose to people or their property?

How will regulators response when they realise the capablilities that can be built into such a lightweight and low-energy craft?

Will they say "yes, that's fine, these are safe"

Or will they say "we didn't know you could do that... sorry, we're now going to dump the full weight of our UAV regulations on every 8-year-old with a toy helicopter they want to fly in their back yard"?

I suspect the answer will prove whether politicians and regulators are using "safety" as an excuse to exert "control" over people having the kind of aerial surveillance capabilities that could be "embarassing" to a misbehaving government.
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