Obama: We need more drone regulations
WASHINGTON — One day after a drone crashed at the White House, President Barack Obama reiterated the need to regulate the industry as the recreational and commercial use of drones expands.
“The drone that landed in the White House you buy in Radio Shack,” Obama said Tuesday in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in India.
The Federal Aviation Administration has issued some guidelines restricting where and how users can fly drones, but the industry is largely unregulated as more companies look to buy and integrate the relatively new technology into their business. The FAA has been working to craft a comprehensive regulatory framework for drones, following calls from Congress and the President.
“You know that there are companies like Amazon that are talking about using small drones to deliver packages… There are incredibly useful functions that these drones can play in terms of farmers who are managing crops and conservationists who want to take stock of wildlife.” Obama said. “But we don’t really have any kind of regulatory structure at all for it.”
A man operating a drone recreationally early Monday morning apparently lost control of the two-foot wide quadcopter before it crashed on the White House grounds. He called the U.S. Secret Service on Monday to “self-report” his involvement and was questioned by agents.
Obama said he’s assigned several federal agencies to work with “stakeholders” to create a framework to ensure drones are safe and aren’t “violating people’s privacy.”
Obama likened the drone industry to cyberspace, which has brought new technologies U.S. laws are still trying to catch up to.
“These technologies that we’re developing have the capacity to empower individuals in ways that we couldn’t even imagine 10-15 years ago,” Obama said, pledging to work to create a framework that “ensures that we get the good and minimize the bad.”