So apparently a large number of college and university professors have sent a letter to the FAA complaining about the ban on the commercial use of drones. Whilst hobbyists are allowed to fly drones up to 400ft high, as we explained before, any commercial use, including their use in research is prohibited. The professors claim that such restrictions on the use of drones are limiting academic research.
Although the first license of commercial use of drones has been granted to BP for surveying their pipelines, no other commercial uses have been deemed legal. Since the price for these drones have been dropping (and you can browse through all the different drones available using our drone finder tool, prices ranging form $40 to $15,000) this means they are now more affordable than ever to researchers who would use them to expand the field of science.
Voss, a professor at Smith College in MA said that whilst it is possible to brain FAA permission to fly drones for research purposes, it is incredibly difficult to jump over all the barriers and provide all the documentation required for this; it’s a bit like a fight for ethical approval which would also be required for the same study.