Late last night, a Drone landed on the grounds of The White House. It led to a lockdown of the premises, with a White House spokesperson telling The New York Times that Secret Service agents were looking into it. The President was in no danger (he’s in India), but consumer use of drones is. This incident at the White House is, like many involving drones, likely very innocent. Still, it will probably spark heavy political blowback as the FAA prepares to rule on what we can and can’t do with drones.
The FAA is already watchdogging drone usage, even going so far as to release a hilariously terrible video on what you can and can’t do with your drone as a consumer.
In other drone-related news, they’re now being used to deliver drugs, while Amazon can’t even get them regulated for use in delivering diapers. People are flying drones at airplanes, and CNN is exploring their journalistic integrity.
The FAA is paying attention to all of this. While this latest incident wasn’t a risk according to Secret Service officials, it will put the FAA on alert as they plan to rule on what right consumers have with regard to drone usage. This event will likely spark internal debates and more rigorous guidelines on where we are able to fly drones, and possibly even lead to registration with the FAA.
Further complicating the matter is that the drone which landed on the White House grounds is a two-foot quadcopter. That’s the same type you can buy just about anywhere. It’s the same kind that leads many Amazon reviewers to note how their randomly took off during flight and crashed into a tree or building because it lost WiFi connectivity with their phone.
Drones aren’t perfect, and someone may have just highlighted that in the biggest way possible. It wasn’t a threat, nor was it meant to alarm anyone, but that two-foot drone caught everyone’s attention. This probably won’t end well for drone enthusiasts.
Source: The Associated Press