WASHINGTON (AP) – Thirty university and college professors say government restrictions on the use of small drones are likely to stifle academic research.
The professors said in a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration that a clarification the agency issued last month on rules model aircraft hobbyists must follow would eliminate the ability of researchers to use small unmanned aircraft on low-altitude flights over private property.
Model aircraft have increased in sophistication and capability to the point that they are virtually indistinguishable from small drones. And the price of the aircraft has been dropping, making them more affordable for researchers and other users.
The letter says the FAA rules would let a child operate a model aircraft but prohibit a researcher from using the same technology.