It buys only the state-required minimum insurance.
...quad erat demonstrandum. Let people go cheap, they'll go cheap. Remove the regulations, and they won't even have that basic level of cover.
The problem here isn't "regulation" it's "inappropriate regulation". I agree that when regulation simply protects vested interests, it's bad. But that doesn't mean we'd be better off without regulation at all.
This is a bunch of bullshit. There isn't any way to apply for a license to operate a UAV for profit legally. You can't do it even if you had all the money in the world.
There is, and the FAA note that only one company has ever been licensed.
If you had argued that that method of applying is heavy-handed or unfair... well then you'd be agreeing with the judge. I am not standing up for the current regulations -- just stating that in principle, making a distinction between amateur and professional use is perfectly justifiable.
For a long while, Scotland had controls on "hackney carriages" (taxis that pick you up off the street) but not "private hire cars" (prebooked hires). This changed when a rash of crimes were committed by individuals and gangs using radio scanners to intercept dispatch orders. Some of them were just pinching business from the company in question, others were mugging or sexually assaulting the fares.
In Glasgow, a taxi driver recently had his license temporarily revoked for kicking a group of tourists out for speaking in their own language in the back of his cab.
That's not to mention the problems of uninsured drivers and excess working hours leading to dangerously tired drivers in unregulated markets. Regulating taxis and private hire vehicles certainly is a safety issue.
Nope, I don't agree at all. I have been to many cities where ride sharing is legal (such as the jeepneys of Manila). The result is more convenient travel and lower prices. Taxis are just a price fixing scam.
Ride sharing is legal in most places. It's driving for profit that's a problem. For example, the site BlaBlaCar is very popular. They allow the driver to charge money to recuperate costs, and in order to avoid anything that may be considered "profit", they limit the amount a driver can collect to the business milage rate specified by the HMRC (UK tax department). If I could claim £10 tax relief if the journey was for business purposes, then the government recognises the cost of the journey as £10.
As for competition, the problem with any unregulated market is the "drive to the bottom". Is it cheaper to hire an uninsured, inexperienced driver in an unmaintained car, or an experienced driver in a well-maintained vehicle with fully comprehensive insurance? Food regulations were first introduced in the UK to deal with "adulterated" ready-made foodstuffs during the industrial revolution. Real food was too expensive, so meat pies were padded out with sawdust -- price competition trumped quality, particularly when the negative effects weren't immediately obvious to the customer.
One of two possibilities:
1) The FAA does not understand the difference between a drone (which does not require visual contact with the operator to be flown) and a toy airplane (which cannot be controlled out of sight of its operator).
Many model aircraft pilots now wear goggles and use a camera to fly by first-person-view. Raphael Pirker is one of them. This is a fairly recent development, and regulators need to adapt to it. However, for the moment, the knock-on effects in terms of range and "busy-ness" of the surrounding landscape make it a pretty practical way to make a distinction between "drone" and "model aircraft".
That's racism, you know that right?
That was a satirical comment, you know that right? Chrisq was mocking mass hysteria....
Not really. A model plane is not a regular aircraft, but it is an "unmanned aircraft system", and he was using it commercially i.e. to shoot an advertisement video. Sounds to me that the FAA is right to assert that this falls under their regulation. However the article implies that there is more to the case: "As a general matter, the decision finds that the FAA's 2007 policy statement banning the commercial use of model aircraft is not enforceable". In other words, the judge didn't say that the rule was not broken, but that the rule itself is poorly drafted.
Yup. The way I read it, the judge thinks the UAV designation doesn't fit the model plane in question. I mean, the only FAA-licensed commercial drone flyer is operating over vast tracts of Arctic tundra, whereas Pirker's craft flies above him in a relatively small radius where the radio signals are received. The safety mechanisms on a long-range drone are entirely inappropriate to something that never even goes a mile away from the operator.
It makes you wonder what defines a model plane? I could envision a big gray area surrounding that question.
That seems to be the nub of the case -- the judge seems to be of the opinion that the definition of UAV is targeted at bigger, longer range craft. If the FAA had had a specific regulation for small, short-range craft, I doubt the judgement would have favoured Pirker....
Why should buzzing a crowd be okay, but buzzing a crowd FOR PROFIT be illegal?
That's an easy one. In many fields, it is considered onerous to regulate hobbyists because the cost of registration and testing would be prohibitive. If you're making a living doing something, if you can't make enough money to cover the costs of proper training, regulation and insurance, then it's not a viable business.
Obligatory car analogy: in most places, it's legal to give your friends a lift in your car on a normal driving license, but you'll need a taxi license to take paying passengers. This, I hope you'll agree, is fair, as it aims to protect the public without encroaching on personal leisure-time liberties.
Another analogy: public parks. Many cities are now introducing bye-laws/ordnances to stop trainers running profit-making bootcamps etc without a permit. This is because these commercial users are typically much heavier users than members of the public, and therefore use up more of a limited resource, increasing grass damage and ground compaction. Even where the space isn't otherwise needed, there is still the issue of their activity and noise affecting nearby park users. Airways are also public space, and it's fair to the owners (everyone) that those extracting commercial value are controlled and perhaps even pay back in.
Note, though, that this ruling isn't about the personal use vs commercial use argument -- the judge's decision was that the regulations for UAVs are not directly relevant to model aircraft (differences in size and flight range are not inconsiderable between commercial drones and hobbyist vehicles). As such, expect to see the FAA bring in new regulations for model aircraft, categorising model aircraft by top speed, effective range, fuselage size etc.
Note also that in most countries that do have specific provisions for model aircraft, Pirker would still have been breach of the law due to the proximity to the helipad. Not only that, but FPV flying (Pirker flies with a camera and head-mounted display) is technically illegal in most jurisdictions, because the designation of model aircraft mandates that the pilot must maintain direct line-of-sight with the aircraft at all times. The need to maintain line-of-sight kept issues of range as effectively redundant in the designation of model aircraft.
Yes, the fake cost centre trick, also used as a VAT (sales tax) dodge by Amazon Europe. If I order something from Amazon, I'm buying from Amazon Europe in Luxembourg (I think) -- I am in the UK. Amazon Europe "outsources" "fulfilment" of orders to subsidiary companies. My nearest fulfilment centre is an Amazon UK one 35 miles from my home. But I'm not buying from them, oh no. I'm buying from a company in Luxembourg that never touches the stock. Nice.
Starbucks have a good scam going -- they mandate that all shops must use official Starbucks coffee that's so expensive it sucks all of the profits out of the local companies and draws it all into Switzerland. Not sure if the coffee is ever landed in Switzerland or not.