Survey reveals opinions on drone restrictions

By Ann Bailey | August 19, 2015

More than two-thirds of U.S. citizens support at least some restrictions on drones for business purposes, a new survey said.

The survey conducted by FindLaw research group asked slightly more than a thousand people if they supported regulations on drones for business purposes, and, if so, which ones. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is considering the regulations.

An average of 78 percent of the people surveyed said they support restrictions. Support for the restrictions varied from 70 percent to 88 percent depending on household income levels, household size, number of children in the household and the education level of the respondents, the FindLaw survey respondents said.

High-income college graduates with no children show the greatest support for restrictions on drones, the survey shows. According to the survey, 83 percent of college graduates, 88 percent of people with incomes of $100,000 per more and 85 percent of people with a household size of two supported some kind of restrictions. In contrast, respondents whose highest level of education was a high school diploma, lived in single households and if, earning $35,000 or less annually (70 percent), people living in single households (74 percent) or had three or more children (74 percent) are least likely to support restrictions, the survey said.

While most respondents expressed support for some restrictions on business drones, significantly fewer support specific regulations, the survey shows. Twenty-two percent of respondents, for example, expressed no support for regulations that:

-  Drone operators must pass a knowledge test and be certified by the FA,

-  Drone operators must always remain within the operator’s visual line of sight.

-  Drone flights must be limited to 500 feet in altitude and a speed of 100 mph.

-  Drones cannot be flown over people who are not directly involved with the flight.

As with the support for general restrictions, the percentage of respondents who support specific restrictions varies depending on income, household size, number of children per household and education level. For example, 42 percent of college graduates support limiting drone flights to 500 feet-high and 100 mph, while 31 percent support of high school graduates show support for that restriction.

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