Monday, March 28, 2016

S.1608 Consumer Drone Safety Act

S.1608 Consumer Drone Safety Act.  US bill proposed bill by Sen Feinstein (CA-D)

Interestingly the bill does not seem to cover racing drones built from scratch by individual drone enthusiast.  Consider the following section of the bill...

(b) Applicability.—The final rule required by subsection (a) shall apply to consumer drones that—

We see from the bill applicability is in only relation to "consumer drones".  When we dig further to understand what consumer drones are at the end of the bill it says this...

(4) CONSUMER DRONE.—
(A) IN GENERAL.—The term “consumer drone” means a civil unmanned aircraft or a civil unmanned aircraft system that—
(i) is—
(I) equipped with an automatic stabilization system; or
(II) capable of providing a video signal allowing operation beyond the visual line of sight of the operator;
(ii) is manufactured and intended for commercial distribution; and
(iii) weighs 55 pounds or less or is certified as described in section 336(a)(3) of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112–9549 U.S.C. 40101 note).
(B) INCLUSION.—The term “consumer drone” includes a kit of component parts that would be a consumer drone if the kit were assembled prior to commercial distribution.
If we look at 4(B) we see the term "consumer drone" includes kits of components parts that can be assembled into a drone.  The bill includes commercial drones like DJI phantom also racing drones like the Vortex.  It also includes Ready To Fly(RTF) kits.  I'm not a lawyer but my interpretation is that the bill does not include, custom non-RTF DIY drones hobbiest build themselves from parts gathered from individual suppliers.  The reason is that the parts are sold individually from suppliers and individual parts do not comprise a kit.  An example, is a racing drone like my ZMR250 quad.

If your a lawyer or read this proposed bill different please comment and share your thoughts.

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