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Here Come The Drones!

Week in Review
June 24, 2016 12:11 PM

drone-1142182_1920-2.jpgThere are often issues that we can consider as controversial or debatable. Each week Dr. David Mielke presents one of these issues to give you Something to Think About. The topic for today is "Here Come the Drones." Noting that their use across the US is soaring as companies explore a number of commercial uses and individuals are able to purchase inexpensive versions that include cameras. David also points out along with rapid growth we have thorny legal questions about where and when they should be allowed to fly and who gets to decide. Should individual property owners be able to decide whether or not they can fly over their property or should decisions about where and when drones can fly be made collectively through regulations? Do they threaten security and privacy? Will the innovation of this new component of our delivery system be stifled if individuals can opt in or out of their airspace? David looks at some issues:

1. The Federal Aviation Administration expects sales of unmanned aerial vehicles to continue their big jump through the rest of this decade. Property owner’s rights in this case is compared to the 500 feet, which they have for previous aircraft. Threats to security and privacy are examined.

2. The other side of this issue say these flying machines represent the next frontier in aviation and decisions about where and when they can fly should also be determined through regulations and not by individual property owners. Citing that commercial air travel would never have flourished had individuals been allowed to sue anyone who flew over their property without permission.

3. Homeowners horizontal and vertical property rights are reviewed.

4. Perspective of drones flying over your land below the FAA's reserved airspace being a trespasser. (Especially since they can film, record sounds or listen in on Wi-Fi and other signals).

5. Cameras becoming good enough to peer through windows and skylights even from great height, increasingly sophisticated sensors on drawing boards promise even greater surveillance power. Then a comparison of the hover capability versus traditional pass over by aircraft.

6. What this could do for police, and how The Supreme Court has ruled regarding surveillance from public property including public navigable airspace in the past.

7. An idea to limit them to only traveling over public roads in regulated traffic layers. Allowing for implied consent for deliveries.

8. Where the original property rights extended at the time of the Wright Brothers testing of the early planes

9. The frontier for the market needs to be addressed – regulations could involve in a similar pattern to what happened with commercial air travel up to now.

Government and industry are already working together to resolve some of these issues. Do we need the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to create an air traffic control system for drones? Can the government set sensible requirements and terms for their use? Should drones only be allowed to fly over public space and the road system? Should an individual 's property rights continue to reach 500 feet above their property? What about helicopters? They currently can fly in the private airspace below 500 feet. Our road system provides a delivery route for all ground transportation and deliveries. Is there any reason that they cannot use the airspace above the roads for deliveries? If property owners want them for other purposes, for example to provide aerial shots to promote the sale or to spray farm fields, the owners are giving their consent. Should we keep the regulations that are planned as simple as possible, stick to the roads and allow property owners to say "Keep off the grass"? What do you think? Something to think about. Please send any comments, ideas and suggestions about the show to our web site at theMichiganBusinessNetwork.com. We want to know: “How can we provide more value to you to help you and your business succeed?” Have a great week!

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Week in Review, hosted by Dr. David Mielke, covers the previous and coming week’s business stories and stock market news while discussing how these events will impact the business world – encouraging you to form opinions on this week’s topics.

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