What's on your Christmas list this year? According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), more than a million drones will be sold this holiday season, ranging from high-end quadcopters to dinky drones you can buy for $20 at Wal-Mart.
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That's great! More than a million of us will be proud new drone owners! But not so fast. The FAA is actually terrified of this and has warned that this could lead to disaster.
Think about it. We've shown you several examples of drones getting into trouble and causing conflict: Drunken federal employees crashed a drone on the White House lawn, multiple drones have been shot out of the sky, drones have ruined sporting events and smuggled drugs into jail, while other gawkers interfered with rescue crews and firefighters working an emergency situation. The list goes on and on.
However, the most problematic is the fact that drone laws are still in their infancy. In fact, just last month, the governor of California "shot down" the first anti-drone bill, but it's only a matter of time until new legislature is drafted.
With no concrete definitions of what drones can and can't do, legally speaking, the FAA has decided to dispatch specialists to educated retail staff and start a consumer education campaign in stores that sell drones like Wal-Mart, way ahead of the holiday shopping season.
The hope here is that education will prevent further disasters. Rich Swayze, the FAA's Assistant Administrator for Policy, International Affairs, and Environment told Aviation Week: "We're trying to get out and educate people about potential dangers," he told delegates. "A lot of people who don't have a pilot background are operating these things in the airspace."
What do you think? Will you be getting a drone for the holidays this year? Do you know how to operate it? Let me know your thoughts by posting in the comments below.