An anonymous reader writes: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has finally started to roll out its new rules for small drones. The agency was notably slow to do so — slow enough that many cities, counties, and states beat them to it. Now, the FAA's rules are clashing with established and more developed rules, frustrating local lawmakers and confusing drone hobbyists. "Lawmakers said the agency's drone rules did not go as far as many states and municipalities that are explicitly banning flights within cities and over homes, strengthening privacy protections and imposing steep criminal and financial penalties on violators."
The FAA's slow and unilateral response is causing local officials to fight the nationwide regulations. "There was not supposed to be such a divide between local and federal drone regulations. Congress instructed the FAA three years ago to write laws for drones, a nascent technology at the time. Yet the agency struggled to create first-time rules for the category that would balance a public outcry over safety concerns with the economic benefits drone makers promised from the machines." Meanwhile, tech companies focused on drone development are pleased with the FAA's light touch. There are hobbyists on each side of the issue; some are glad to avoid more restrictive and complicated local regulations, while others wish the government would do more to slow the rush of unprepared and reckless new drone owners.