The FAA is investigating New York City realtors who are using drones to document properties. They’ve also issued guidelines saying the use of model aircraft (drones) by farmers is unlawful. The guidance is the next absurd step in the never ending saga of government agencies that can’t figure out how to regulate new technology, says Forbes.com contributor Gregory S. McNeal.
The FAA’s position is as simple as it is inane. If a realtor films buildings for fun using a remote controlled quadcopter that’s legal. But if she takes that same quadcopter and films buildings as part of her job, that is illegal. If a farmer flies a model aircraft over his cornfield doing barrel rolls and loops, that’s legal. But if he uses the same model airplane to determine how to conserve water or use less fertilizer that’s illegal. This is government regulation at its worst.