Is There A Drone In Your Future?

Posted on 2/9/2015 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

More and more photographers are looking to drones as a cheap way to do aerial photography and a look at subjects from new perspectives. But it is entirely possible that there will be severe restrictions on the private use of drones – at least in the U.S.

According to a new Reuters/Ipsos online poll 73% of Americans think new rules on privately owned drones can’t come fast enough. Forty-two percent oppose private ownership of drones. Another 30 percent think  private drone ownership was fine, and 28 percent are not sure.

Citizens are worried about invasions of privacy. After a drone crashed on the White House lawn there is also the concern about what terrorists might be able to do with them. Drones have also been spotted flying near commercial airports during landings and take offs raising concerns.

One Reuter’s poll respondents equated drone dangers with those posed by guns and drugs. Seventy-one percent said drones should not be allowed to operate over someone else's property, and 64 percent said they would not want their neighbor to have a drone. Forty-six percent of the respondents don't want news organizations using drones to gather news, but 41 percent supported such use.

However, respondents widely supported drone use in law enforcement. Sixty-eight percent support police flying drones to solve crimes, and 62 percent think they might be useful in deterring crime.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has been struggling to develop acceptable small drone regulations. A draft FAA rule is currently under review by the White House Office of Management and Budget. Publication of the proposed rules is expected soon and will be followed by a year or two of comment and revisions before they take effect.

The FAA rule will cover commercial drone uses, such as photography, surveying and crop inspection, which are now mostly banned.  On the other hand, in 2012 Congress granted hobbyists operating model aircraft under a safety code of a community-based organization an exemption from these rules.

Wired Magazine reports some of the things drones are already doing around the world, particularly in remote locations, such as delivering lifesaving medical supplies. hopes to eventually introduce Amazon Prime Air as a way to safely deliver packages into the hands of customers within 30 minutes of placing an order. The company has petitioned the FAA for authorization to conduct research and development tests for such a service.

Copyright © 2015 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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