On September 22nd, 2018, the House of Representatives received the full bill of H.R. 302. This bill is the FAA Re-Authorization Act of 2018, which is 1,205 pages. The House of Representatives voted on this bill, on September 26th, and it passed 398 to 23. How on earth did the House read through 1,200 pages in 4 days?!?!
The reason I care about this bill is because of pages 247 to 348. You should take the time to read this, before continuing on with my post:
Section 336 is what has been protecting us hobbyist in our right to fly. You can read section 336, here. This new bill is going to repeal section 336, in order for the FAA to be able to make new rules to govern drone pilots. Section 336 does not allow the FAA to make any changes to the existing rules.
Manufacturer Safety Standards
This portion of the bill will give the FAA the right to govern drone manufacturers and tell them exactly what they can and cannot have in their products. In short, they have the right to shutdown sales of quads and quad parts to us, just because. It is very vague and does not define what they will allow and what they will refuse for sale. I can see this putting a lot of companies out of business that we buy parts from.
Aeronautical Knowledge and Safety Test
With this new bill, the FAA is going to require EVERYONE to get tested on their abilities to fly a drone. It doesn’t matter the size, you’ll need to go through training and take a test. You’ll also need to make paperwork available to law enforcement, if they see you flying your drone. Really? This test will be enforced 8 months after this bill passes the senate. Get ready to throw some money at the government for this!
With this bill passing, we may have to start identifying our quads remotely. Meaning, you may have to install a beacon, which is broadcasting your personal identification number. This will require for you to purchase and install beacons for any of your quads. This is a massive privacy issue and goes against our privacy rights from the constitution.
FAA Can Make Whatever Rules They Want
Page 287 has a clause which will give free reign to the FAA to create whatever rules they wish to govern us hobbyist. If they wish to cancel our ability to fly, they would now be able to do that. If they (or law enforcement) wishes to take your drone from you, they can do that. No permissions from courts needed, they can just impound it at a moments notice. This goes against our 4th amendment rights.
What To Do About This?
This bill is just a stomp on our constitution and may make the end to our wonderful hobby. I encourage everyone, who cares about our hobby, to go to:
and click on the link to write to your senators now! We don’t have many days left before the senate votes on this bill and gets it passed. We need to stop this from happening!!