A brickbat for New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority almost a year after they lumped the responsible, genuine RC fliers in with the droners and stripped us of several key freedoms we hadd safely enjoyed for many decades without problems.
In August 2015, the New Zealand CAA decided in their wisdom, that anything which flies (regardless of size or mass) and can be remotely controlled is now an “aircraft” — just like a C172, A320 or 747. In this video, I have a little rant about the CAA’s poor performance in the area of creating a sensible regulatory framework for the use of drones *and* RC flying models by way of good rules, adequate promulgation and consistent enforcement.
Not good enough CAA. Surely your entire collection of exception-riddled rules could be condensed from the current five pages of regulations, down to this:
“No operator of an RPAS shall operate their craft in a manner that constitutes a danger or threat to the person or property of another in the air or on the ground and such craft must always remain below 400 feet AGL except when expressed prior permission has been granted by the relevant controlling authority.”
That’s pretty much it. Anything else is redundant.
Okay, add in some *sensible* definitions — such as what actually constitutes a remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS), “drone”, model aircraft, etc — and you’re done.
Don’t insult our intelligence by suggesting that a 20g Cheerson CX10 is in some way just as much an “aircraft” as an Airbus A380 or C172 — or even that it represents as much of a threat to public safety as a 14Kg carbon multirotor – it makes you look silly and exposes your rules to ridicule rather than respect.
Add some guidelines to help the feeble-minded — such as staying away from airports etc — and you’re done.
Remember.. the fewer rules/regs, the fewer loopholes created and the reduced need for “exceptions” to patch up the anomalies that complex regulations (like the present ones) invariably create.
That so many “droners” have such a poor grasp of the current rule-set clearly proves that it is both too complex and inadequately promulgated. With only one rule, there can be *no* excuse for ignorance on the part of drone operators.
Rules & regulations do not stop people from doing bad things – they simply allow you to punish them after the fact. Focus instead on a much simpler, more concise rule-set and dedicate your efforts to educating people as to exactly *why* those rules are important and what they can do to ensure they’re compliant.
By suggesting that a child’s toy is a real “aircraft”, CAA are showing contempt for those who they ought to be encouraging to fly safely and responsibly. This shows a complete lack of understanding of how to modify and shape human behaviour — not good enough, when lives are at stake.
CAA… step away from the coffee and biscuits! Revise CAA101 right now to make it fairer and more sensible in a way that shows commonsense and respect for those whose freedoms and privileges you so quickly remove. Show some respect for the RC flying community and you’ll be surprised at how freely we’ll work to help you ensure that the droners aren’t a risk to public safety. Treat us like morons and you only have yourselves to blame when bad things happen due to your obvious arrogance and ignorance.