Paper No. 289-7
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM
UAV REGULATION - FALLBACK OR FALLOUT?
As U.S. UAV users anticipate introduced regulation, it is thought that regulators may follow the lead legislation that was adopted in Canada and brought into law in November, 2014. The Advisory Circular, AC 600-02, issued by the Government of Canada, represents a framework that may generally be adopted in the U.S. These regulations have the potential to be a model that can be considered a “fallback” position, or worse, a “fallout” position for U.S. users. Canadian users are faced with a choice to follow a protocol for an application (Special Flight Operations Certificate - SFOC) to the federal government’s Civil Aviation Authority, or follow detailed instructions as provided in the exemption provision, “Guidance Material for Operating Unmanned Air Vehicle Systems under an Exemption” - AC 600-004, a 30 page document requiring strict knowledge of the requirements for an SFOC. The discipline of geology has benefitted greatly already using UAVs to monitor transient and static phenomenon, for educational use and for geologic modeling. Closely related to this is the aspect of safety in the oil and gas business as well as open pit mining operations. Restrictive regulation has the potential to unduly restrict these fields of application, and prevent competitive spirit in this new area where entrepreneurialship can benefit all involved. International regulations can vary from complete commercial civilian bans on use of UAVs (Spain, Jordan) to less restrictive laws regulating UAVS. U.S. prospective geological users must be proactive in assisting in discussions and review of regulations introduced.