Drones: The FAA's Regulations for Recreational Use

Gregory S. McNeal, Associate Professor of Law and Public Policy at Pepperdine School of Law, discusses new regulations concerning recreational drone use recently issued by the FAA. Professor McNeal explains that these new regulations represent an enormous break from the past, and likely stem from the widespread and increasing popularity of drones.

As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.

Related Links:

Professor McNeal’s website:

Home

Website of the Federal Aviation Administration:
https://www.faa.gov/uas/

Know before you fly website:
http://knowbeforeyoufly.org/air-space-map/

Why You Should Fully Support the New FAA Drone Regulations: http://www.outsideonline.com/2038621/faa-task-force-releases-its-drone-registration-recommendations

New York Times article concerning drone registration:
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/01/06/more-than-180000-drone-users-registered-in-f-a-a-database/?_r=0

Wall Street Journal Article, Regulators Weigh Satellite Tracking for Delivery Drones:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/regulators-weigh-satellite-tracking-for-delivery-drones-1451435477

Washington Post Article:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/01/13/you-may-be-powerless-to-stop-a-drone-from-hovering-over-your-own-yard/

46 Comments

  1. windjammerzz on April 12, 2021 at 1:14 am

    One thing that bothers me and nobody has said anything about it anywhere that I’ve seen. And that is FAA just took over all airspace on private land down to a millimeter off the ground now. I realize that we can’t claim airspace above our land to space but we should at least have 100 or 200 feet above our property that’s considered our space.

  2. silbay on April 12, 2021 at 1:15 am

    When did an agency obtain the ability to create law? Oh yeah they don’t have that authority, only Congress can make law. The safety item is total BS, it is just to limit our ability to watch what the government does on the sly and catch them violating our rights.As Barry Sotero said he had a pen and a phone, well Trump has the same and executive action totally regulates what any agency can do, so a stroke of the pen and the FAA becomes another limp dicked agency.

  3. drbooks on April 12, 2021 at 1:17 am

    Fine by me

  4. Dastrox on April 12, 2021 at 1:17 am

    Guess I’m not buying a drone, one day ill forget my "registration" and then be forced to pay 25k that i dont have… Seems legit

  5. docthebiker on April 12, 2021 at 1:19 am

    What absolute bollocks. Model RC users were exempted from FAA controls because they didn’t behave like morons.
    They put in a lot of time and money in getting into the air (building, setting up, and learning to fly), and although clubs played a large part in drafting an informal code of conduct in the main one needed to make a huge commitment in order to fly R/C. That commitment gave one respect for the hobby, so people made due diligence, doing their homework before flying. With a Drone you can buy "Ready to Fly" (R2F) off the shelf, that does not require hours of training from an experienced mentor, is cheap, tough and very easy to repair, in fact almost disposable. Well any idiot can fly one. Which means a LOT of idiots do end up flying them.
    What started as a self regulating relatively small hobby became an unregulated mass marketed swarm. The FAA didn’t step in to deny the civil rights of drone operators, they HAD to step in due to public demand by every one else demanding that _their_ civil rights be protected from these few irresponsible morons.

  6. Michael J. Salzbrenner on April 12, 2021 at 1:20 am

    The FAA can’t implement law. They are doing the same thing most unconstitutional government organizations do. Implementation through FEAR! The FAA can kiss my keaster. First, how can they enforce this ridiculous ruse. Second even if they do "catch" you. How are they going to collect the fines they propose. And third even if they figure out how to push this agenda all the way through, good luck getting thousands of dollars out of people who bought TOYS to play with. How many people can they extort before they get called out. Not to mention the horrific decline in sales the industry will be impacted with when only "professionals" are buying their "hobby" products. This is pathetic. I’m so sick of this government overreach. Just another "government" agency trying to figure out how to implement another cash cow.

  7. 27lebs on April 12, 2021 at 1:20 am

    There are no regulations that can apply to my small helicopter since I am a hobbyist & not involved in interstate commerce. The willy nilly regulation of a federal agency has no authority over the recreational use of my small helicopter, particularly when no law was passed by Congress. Any such ruling or regulation by the FAA is an unlawful order & doesn’t need to be obeyed.

  8. Garrison64 on April 12, 2021 at 1:22 am

    You know, if there weren’t any idiots in the world you people wouldn’t have to cry about regulations like this. Unfortunately the world is full of idiots who don’t act reasonably regarding things like drones so this kind of thing becomes necessary. Just register it, follow the more than reasonable rules, and it’s not a big deal.

  9. jpthsd on April 12, 2021 at 1:22 am

    is there any regulation applicable to Birds and organic livings fly in the sky? like birds , how the FAA asks them to register?So FAA and States, Counties, Cities can put any regulation, restrictions they want to for safety protection purpose without passing them…uhmmmMy understanding, if it is the law, it has to pass through voting right? My city doesn’t seem to vote anything, they just put the sign "it’s the law, no flying drone" ,,,sigh…my drone dream

  10. CaptainDreadnought on April 12, 2021 at 1:24 am

    I KᑎOᗯ TᕼEᖇE Iᔕ ᔕOᗰE ᑭEOᑭE ᗯᕼO ᗪO ᗷᗩᗪ TᕼIᑎGᔕ ᗯITᕼ ᗪᖇOᑎEᔕ ᗷᑌT ᑎOᗯ YOᑌ ᕼᗩᐯE TO ᒍᑌᔕT ᖇᑌIᑎ IT. ᗰᗩᗷE TᕼE GOᐯ ᔕᕼOᑌᒪᗪ ᖴOᑕᑌᔕ ᗩ ᒪITTᒪE ᗰOᖇE Oᑎ OTᕼEᖇ ᔕTᑌᖴᖴ. ᗩᒪᔕO Iᖴ ᗩ KIᗪ GETᔕ IT TᕼEᑎ YOᑌ ᒍᑌᔕT ᖇᑌIᑎEᗪ ᕼIᔕ ᖴᑌᑎ

  11. Colin Field on April 12, 2021 at 1:25 am

    Screw our communist, criminal government. Come and stop me from flying a toy helicopter, I dare you.

  12. K Danagger on April 12, 2021 at 1:25 am

    Just one thing – according to the Constitution, only Congress, the judicial branch, has the authority to pass such laws.
    And Congress has already ruled on the hobbyist use of model aircraft. The bill is called the 2012 FAA modernization and reform act, and it specifically prohibits the FAA or other government agency from making any new laws with respect to hobbyist operation of model aircraft. The president signed it into law on Feb 14th 2012.
    The FAA (and NTSB) have positioned themselves as rouge government agencies by thumbing their nose at Congress and the Constitution.

  13. Bruce Baker on April 12, 2021 at 1:25 am

    These videos keep saying that you have to register the drone, the way I understood it when I got my registration, was I registered me, as a drone owner and that same FAA number was to be placed on all of the drones that I was flying….I made up stickers with the number, my full name, and my phone number, and put it on every drone I have…….When you say you have to register the drone, it sounds like every drone you own has to have a separate FAA number, and registration, for recreational flying….I know that commercial rules may require that but not hobby flying……….My registration was issued on 12/23/2015..three days after they started issuing them…….it comes due again this coming December…..

  14. CaptainZobra on April 12, 2021 at 1:26 am

    I think drones should have an implant in them (which can’t be removed) that will shut the drone off if it exceeds the maximum height limit. I should be able to fly a drone on my property a couple feet above the ground anytime I want.

  15. Samuel Yang on April 12, 2021 at 1:29 am

    Hopefully the new president and like the new senate and stuff like that will change this.

  16. squidcat11 on April 12, 2021 at 1:30 am

    No, and i mean NO corporate entity acting as "government" under Color of Authority is going to ‘administrate’ my Private Property or ‘regulate’ my constitutionally-protected Rights under their Occupational Regulations, Corporate By-Laws, Ordinances or Administrative Rule-making without my EXPRESS CONSENT to be SUBJECT to their Municipal Statutory Rules and Restrictions INTENDED via my VOLUNTARY MEMBERSHIP in such a scheme by WRITTEN LEGAL AGREEMENT. period.

  17. James Butterson on April 12, 2021 at 1:32 am

    Bernie Sanders for president.

  18. BayareaJay on April 12, 2021 at 1:32 am

    Just fly the shit out of your drones where ever you feel like it. I’m supposed to believe the government is going to afford to pay people to go after everyone flying a drone hahaha yeah right. See my middle finger, I’ll have it raised proudly while flying all damn day!!!

  19. JingXueLiang on April 12, 2021 at 1:33 am

    Good! You don’t have a right to fly your drone over my property without my permission. That’s trespassing.

    You don’t have a right to record with your drone: me, my family, and my property without my families written consent and notification.

    Peeping toms, perverts, and other assorted deviants just got put on notice 🙂

  20. donwrig on April 12, 2021 at 1:34 am

    Is there a LEGAL, Constitutional way to reference this? Can you explain the jurisdiction in this?

  21. D Mented on April 12, 2021 at 1:41 am

    If a bird going into engine can bring plane down imagine what a crazy person with drone can do. If it wasn’t for the rules and penalties people would be harassing each other dropping pee on each other from the sky..

  22. Ryan Francis on April 12, 2021 at 1:42 am

    I got a DUI 8 years ago when I was 19. Will the FAA still let me get a remote pilot’s certificate? Any information sure would help me out!

  23. GeorgeBonez on April 12, 2021 at 1:44 am

    For the pasty 30 years the Government hasn’t worried about the safety factor of R/C aircraft (even huge ones) until we gained the ability to video record. THE END! THINK ABOUT IT!
    They like to LOOK at us but they dont like us LOOKING BACK!

  24. Milton Läufer on April 12, 2021 at 1:45 am
  25. Airborne Works on April 12, 2021 at 1:51 am

    I am an FAA part 107 holder and have a huge amount of respect for the rules after I studied for this test……In short we have safe airspace for a reason.. that being the FAA Regs.
    I used the FAA links to study our part107 .. Most people who study don’t realize this but the reality is you do not need to read all that info, 600+ pages, as most of that info is for fixed wing pilots.. The FAA mandates that every 24 months all of us, who have passed have to retest,…..That means we ALL have to stay up with the latest rules and regulations as they change and STUDY for that retest…… $300 to$500 is really nuts for ANY on line class…. To keep up with the changing regulations, We offer the best online video study series with 99% pass rate, of 8,000+ students!!! We focus our study on what you need to know to pass as we update our info regularly. https://airborneworks.com/online-flight-school/

    We have teamed up with Remotepilot101.com to offer a web based video study series. The online video series has live test after every module and a final exam with real time feedback score! You may re- test as many times as you want and all of the test questions are off actual test, based on feedback from our students who just tested! We update our test data base often and rotate those questions into our mock final exams! Best of all it is lifetime access and we will update the video study series as the FAA changes the rules, so you are sure to be all set for the FAA retest. As they just have done Last week 2/8/17.

    Side Note : We are also hiring part 107 pilots and flight school trainers across the country, and / or looking to collaborate with pilots to send them work. if you are interested or have questions, Please contact us with any questions on our web site… https://airborneworks.com/join-our-team/ Congrats to all who have passed!

  26. Jacob James on April 12, 2021 at 1:51 am

    That’s so stupid. I’m flying my traxxas quadcopter

  27. Island Driving on April 12, 2021 at 1:51 am

    Sorry guys but you live in a f……n-g police/State-Snit-ch-Nest-country and the sad part is that you keep justifying the harassment inflicted upon you and the lack of privacy and liberties you have to "enjoy".

  28. LeaveTheRace on April 12, 2021 at 1:52 am

    You and everyone associated with creating this video and that law is complete and utter bullshit

  29. cupkiller 45 on April 12, 2021 at 1:55 am

    So if I can cut about 2 inches off the ground in a controlled way do I have to register each seamen? faa pleas get back to me on this

  30. Stephen J Payne on April 12, 2021 at 1:55 am

    Look at the camera, damnit.

  31. zinfer1 on April 12, 2021 at 1:57 am

    Government regulations are killing our freedom.

  32. David Anderson on April 12, 2021 at 1:57 am

    Your going to have to pry my drone out of my cold dead hands. Sounds familiar? Common sense is not so common

  33. KroniCole on April 12, 2021 at 1:58 am

    Fuck that seriously? Theyre toys

  34. Rocking in a free world on April 12, 2021 at 1:59 am

    Always someone to spoil people’s fun. So much to living in a free world.
    Fuck em. I’ll fly mine no matter what!

  35. Dalia Montosa on April 12, 2021 at 1:59 am

    it is 2016

  36. dannukesem on April 12, 2021 at 2:00 am

    The FAA just wants to keep drones away from airplanes.

  37. afgmirmir on April 12, 2021 at 2:01 am

    Hands off my drones

  38. Nature knows on April 12, 2021 at 2:04 am

    Oppressors AKA Americop

  39. Mark Gardner on April 12, 2021 at 2:05 am

    So, I get the "Cold, dead hands" fanatics on use and registration of Drones. It’s their go-to "Ohh Ohh! Look at me! Look at Me!!" call.
    Honestly, these are usually the exact ones creating the problems that the "Gub’mint" ends up getting all up in arms about.
    Drones are fun! I love mine! But if some dumbass bullets his/her drone into my roof, car windshield or kids skull and it isn’t registered, I am screwed on identifying the jerk if their device isn’t registered.
    Registration imposes enforceable responsibility on the owner in the event of an accident, malicious misuse or criminal abuse of the device.
    Grow the heck up, people.

  40. Screen Apple on April 12, 2021 at 2:06 am

    Casey Naistat always flies​ new drones near JFK and LaGuardia Airports.

  41. nunyer beeznaz on April 12, 2021 at 2:06 am

    OK,pay attention all you pissed off privacy mavens. I hate these things so much,I came up with a definite cure for invasive quadracopter flying near your home or family. As a concerned homeowner and parent ,when my neighborhood started being invaded by these childrens toys with high speed razor blades attached,I became furious at the invasion of my privacy of dwelling. Being an avid outdoors-man,my spinning pole’s reel needed to have the old line stripped ANYWAY, so I tied a rusty 1/4×20 nut on the line and started casting like a basketball bucket-dunk,flipping the line higher and higher. I changed to an equally rusty 5/16 nut, and found I could flip-cast a nut 300 feet in the air,and when falling back to earth,it became a tangled web of line in the sky !!!!!
    So far I have disabled or caught 6 of the critters.
    In my next post,I will share good recipes,and proper tenderization techniques to use. A always, we recommend the use of American made corn oil for frying.

  42. Student A on April 12, 2021 at 2:06 am

    No one cares in China… My friend which is 7 years old flyed a drone to other apartment by accident and nothing happened FYI I live in china

  43. Jimmy Moonshine on April 12, 2021 at 2:06 am

    America, the land of the free and restricted!

  44. mewrongway on April 12, 2021 at 2:08 am

    Haha I never did register! John did what the AMA was to chicken to do!
    Shame on the AMA for sleeping with the enemy! We modelers should boycott the AMA and teach them that we will not tolerate them sleeping with the enemy!

  45. Drone Valley on April 12, 2021 at 2:11 am

    I don’t have a problem with registration but am really frustrated with the overlap of FAA rules and local bans on drones. It has to be one or the other because its getting hard to find a place to fly anymore. I just did a clip about it – https://youtu.be/rC4lAPdxbNA
    Check it out when you can, just subbed you

  46. Oxidon on April 12, 2021 at 2:13 am

    ITS ALL CASEY NAISTATS FAULT HE IS A FUCKING IDIOT!!!!

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