Across the United States there are many, reports of improper and illegal flights of UAVs which is going to hurt the market for commercial UAVs remote sensing (imagery/LiDAR) in the future. As of now 4 companies have been given green lights from the FAA to fly UAVs for traditional remote sensing applications.
Some recent reports out of Hawai’i from KITV 4 have drones fit with common cameras flying over people lying on beaches and fitted with spotlights to peer into windows.
Reports from the FAA say they are being pressured to complete the regulations by the deadline, but as of now they are expected to be up to two years late (September 2017) on the full list of regulations.
Small UAVs of the consumer toy level were heavily advertized this Christmas season, take this Weird Al ad for Radio Shack. And in response the FAA will be launching a UAV safety website http://knowbeforeyoufly.com to reduce the improper use of UAVs at flight altitude, while the legal limit is 400ft, some can reach 18,000ft of altitude. Given the current state, regulations should be close to Canada’s regulations but with enough penalties for improper use.
In Australia, firefighters are worried about UAVs interfering with aerial firefighting with a new group of UAVs in the skies that were bought for the Christmas holidays. It is expected that Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (FAA equivalent) with take up new UAV rules in 2015.
The skies need to get under control soon or future flights of UAVs for commercial traditional remote sensing purposes will be harder to overcome as long lasting stigmas will be created in many peoples’ minds and it will be years to decades to overcome.