, Wheaton

, Illinois

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-22 12:53:29
“I am a hobbyist who flies fixed-wing model aircraft. I believe this legislation would be unnecessarily restrictive on the model aircraft hobby, which has operated for decades alongside along manned aviation. I do not believe it is a necessity that every model aircraft over a arbitrary weight limit must be registered and have remote identification, as it provides little advantage to everyone involved in exchange for a sacrifice of freedom – If someone were to do something illegal with a model aircraft, would they be inclined to register or install remote identification? I think not. As mentioned above, remote controlled aircraft as a hobby has been coexisting with manned aviation for quite a while now, and rather well. As of the time of writing, there are three verified and two alleged collisions between manned aircraft and UAVs, with none of them causing any injury or death – It is also of note that all of the UAV operators in these incidents were flying in violation of regulations: too high or too close to an airport. I fail to see how additional regulation would prevent this if it is violated anyways. Of course, UAVs certainly have the potential to critically damage aircraft, and I will not attempt to downplay the significance of that. That being said, five incidents in the entire history of the hobby with zero fatalities is a pretty fantastic track record. Compare that to the accident rates in General Aviation and I think you can see why I believe this legislation is superfluous – the effort could be used on areas that evidently need more improvement. There is a cynical part of me that suspects that this legislation is the result of corporate lobbyists who want control over the airspace up to 400 feet for package delivery by drone and such. This legislation would certainly make their job a little bit easier, but I believe it would ultimately be in bad faith. We are the established entity, they are not – I would expect them to conform to us, not the other way around. There are almost 1.3 million registered UAVs in the United States. There are a bit over two hundered thousand registered general aviation craft, and a very small number of corporate-owned and operated UAVs. We are very much in the majority, and I believe it does not make sense to change the vast majority for the needs of the minority; It is not prudent to inhibit the majority for the profits of the minority. I do have concerns as to whether my voice will be heard, or even considered – there are just so many comments to read. In this day and age, I have my doubts as to whether the government still represents the people. Recently, it has started to seems as though lobbyists and corporate entities have taken control – it is no longer about which side has the best argument or the most votes but rather which side has the most power and money. I do sincerely believe that this legislation is not in the best interest for the majority of the American people and thus should not be passed.”