Guest Post – How New Laws Are Affecting Drones

A guest post by Pae Natwilai. Very interesting and informative.

How New Laws Are Affecting Drones

It is a common wish to possess and have absolute control over any properties we acquire without limitations. To drone owners, as from the look of things, this wish will never come true. Nations, globally are on their toes to ensure the control of alarming indulgence of its civilians in drone uses and applications. Thus to say owning and operating a drone is no longer fun as what was once not a big deal can land one behind bars.

A civic perspective defines a drone as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). That is to say UAV is any aircraft that has the potential to fly autonomously without a pilot in it. Bearing this capability in mind, governments are putting formulating, enacting and enforcing laws to govern the drone activities beginning with their manufacturers.

Compelled Registration and Identification

This must have come as a complete shock to those who thought a receipt of purchase is all that one needed to be in ownership of a drone. A good number of nations have made drone registration with concerned authorities and labeling paramount requirements. The reason behind this measure is to help authorities in the tracking of inappropriately flown drones and in case of a theft. This agitation for 250g and above drone registration implies;

 Drone possession will be to some extend limited to those who can constantly afford the registration and adhere to subsequent laws.
 A reduced drone-aircraft collisions whose cause, in most cases is inappropriate operation.
 An increase in ownership of light drones by individuals to avoid registration demands.


The governments in conjunction with concerned bodies are committed to see to it that drones are not completely free gadgets. Unlike their counterparts the aircrafts, they are highly restricted to a number of things. Below is a number of restrictions to drones brought about by enactment of new laws.

Restricted locations

The new law has set its foot in the determination of which bearings and coordinates the drones are to and not to take. This is clearly illustrated in the demarcation of particular regions and areas as no go zones. For instance the drones are never to fly or be flown over places housing facilities such as densely populated places, airports, military bases and prisons. The restriction calls for the expansion, renovation and make up of drones by integration of a geo-fencing. This will ensure the drones are programmed not to trespass and instead maintain their lawful paths.

Restricted ownership and operation

No nation is taking any risks when it comes to incidents of drones crashing as a result of children operating them. To eliminate these risks, drones can only be owned and registered under the name of elder civilians. Thus to say the drones have specified markets margins. Also the drones will be entrusted to no operator but the one who has been tested and certified. In addition, the operator will not at any circumstances lose the sight of the drone. The drones are being portrayed to be dangerous devices to be handled with caution.

Restricted time of flight

Unlike the manned aircrafts, UAVs will operate only during day time and 30 minutes before when the visual degree of the operator is at its peak. The exemptions will be applicable only where the drones are fitted with gadgets to enhance the operator’s visual ability. This section of the law facilitates the encroachment of the application and total output of the drones. The drone cannot be put to maximum use and consequently low outputs.

Restricted airspace, weight and speed

Some drones are large enough to be associated with manned aircrafts, so why the height and speed restrictions? It takes a drone weighing 2kg, flying at a speed of about 100km/hr to break the windscreen of helicopter upon collision. This is why the drones have no choice but to fly at a height not greater than 400 ft (120m), a speed of less than 100 miles per hour and under prescribed as well as approved routes.

Recreational and commercial application

Now one cannot just walk to a market and purchase a drone without a plan for it. The governments have made this stands since the law is more rigid with commercial use than for fun. Such include remote pilot certification that is subject to expiry, registration, pre-flight inspection, maintain stipulated speed and height at all times.

Despite all these restrictions through legislative measures, there remains blatant evidence for increased use and application of drones by the civilians. The laws are being enacted day in day out targeting the ownership, operation, manufacture and technology of drones. This has diversely affected the experience and ability of drones and consequently limited their uses.

Pae Natwilai, is the founder of TRIK, a former oil and gas inspection and maintenance engineer, who was named as one of the rising stars in the Forbes 30 under 30.