Be Compliant, Drone Fines Are On The Rise!

Be Compliant, Drone Fines Are On The Rise!

Drone pilots have to comply because drone fines are on the rise

Looking at the increase in the number of drone fines charged against illegal behavior by aviation authorities over the world, I see an emerging trend: more and more authorities are starting to prosecute unlawful drone operations.


While this is good news, many in the industry – as well as myself – feel that the authorities have been slow in enforcing. Why is that?

Well, most of the focus of the regulators to date has been on defining the legal framework of this new industry. How can you enforce if you don’t have a clear set of rules in place first?

Drones represent a revolutionary technology which is booming and being adopted across several verticals with new uses discovered almost every day. While the technology is ready and progresses at an amazing pace, regulators are chasing rather than anticipating this changing industry 

The problem was (and still is), setting the rules isn’t an easy task.

Even in countries where considerable efforts have been made so far in building a legal framework for safely integrating drones into airspace, regulators had to conciliate two different interests – sometimes conflicting: promoting safety and compliance and supporting the needs of the fast-growing drone industry.

Another factor complicating the regulatory efforts is that increased drone use raises several issues from a legal perspective.

Operating a drone involves different areas of law: privacy law, tort law, insurance law, civil aviation regulations, in particular, safety for people and manned aircraft.  On top of that, privacy is a trending topic in the past few months. 

The complexity of this task increases in countries where multiple authorities have input and control over some of the legal aspects related to hobbyist and commercial flying.

For example, in the U.S., a confusing crossover of federal, state and local regulations – the so-called patchwork quilt – is negatively impacting the industry’s development and the capacity of the authorities to focus on enforcement, as a recent research by the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College highlights. One of their key insights was that in several cases local drone laws contravene the FAA’s drone rules, resulting in legal conflicts.

Crossing the ocean, while the European Commission has started to draft a blueprint of a legal framework for operating drones, individual  EU member states still have the total decision-making power over drone regulations and legal prosecutions. While the Commission has put a lot of effort recently to standardize drone rules, analysts expect areas of conflict between the European framework and the state and local laws to emerge.

Another problem the aviation authorities have been struggling to deal with is the lack of resources specifically dedicated to managing drone registrations, complaints and reports of illegal or reckless operations.

Despite these difficulties, during the last couple of years, several countries managed to put a drone regulatory framework in place, and are switching their attention from setting the rules to enforcing them.

Moreover, drone regulation is not the concern of drone operators only. Their clients are requiring compliance as well to protect their own brands.

Content buyers have begun to understand that drone content must be acquired legally – like any other type of content such as music – if they don’t want to face the risks associated with illegal operations.

In some countries, regulators are enforcing on the buyers’ side too. For example, in the US, if you hire a drone operator who doesn’t hold a Part 107 allowing commercial operations, you could be facing federal charges as well.

If you are curious to read about some of the most significant cases involving prosecution for non-compliance, I compiled a list of 15 interesting drone fines from around the world, showing the increasing prosecution trend.

So whether you’re a drone operator looking to monetize your drone in a compliant way or whether you’re an aerial content buyer looking for legally acquired content, the website, droneregulations.info,  provides a straightforward overview of regulation by country. UAV Coach also offers an updated list of drone laws and regulations by country, making it impossible to feign ignorance of the rules.

Drone Pilot Ground School Launches STEM Scholarship for High School Students

Drone Pilot Ground School Launches STEM Scholarship for High School Students

High-School-STEM-Scholarship-for-Aspiring-Commercial-Drone-Pilots

Drone Pilot Ground School recently launched a scholarship to support U.S. high school students who want to become certified commercial drone pilots.


Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics or STEM, is a curriculum, based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines in an often ‘hands-on’ approach.

The High School STEM Scholarship for Aspiring Commercial Drone Pilots provides free access to Drone Pilot Ground School, a leading remote test prep course for the FAA’s Part 107 exam, and will also pay for Part 107 test fees (up to $150) for the first 100 students to take the test.

The idea for the scholarship first came from Alan Perlman, CEO and founder of Drone Pilot Ground School, and Matt Ernst, founder of the Taft Drone Club at the Robert A.Taft Information Technology High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Taft Drone Club uses drones for education, and has recently received a grant for $100,000 from the state of Ohio to support his efforts in STEM education using drones.

This new, first of its kind scholarship for high school students aims at supporting young people trying to break into the drone industry while also helping spread the use of drones in STEM education.

“We know the drone industry has the potential for creating new jobs for young people, and can help students get excited about STEM subjects. Providing a scholarship to interested, qualified high school students just seemed like a natural outgrowth of the support we’ve given the students at Taft High.”

said Perlman.

One of the primary motivators for Matt Ernst forming his club was to offer his students opportunities for making a good living. As drones get cheaper – with plenty of mini-drones under $100 to try out and learn on, and prosumer models selling for under $5,000 – and as drone applications proliferate, the potential for high school students to create a foundation for future careers in the drone industry seems strong to him.

More and more, drones are being used to help students learn – and get excited about – STEM subjects in middle, high, and even elementary school

Across the U.S. drones have become a part of robotics classes, coding classes, and even lessons on longitude and latitude. New platforms like DroneBlocks actually provide curricula materials for educators who want to use drones in the classroom, and drone manufacturers like Parrot have launched specialized educational programmes based on drones.

The drone industry itself is growing, and there promises to be new jobs on the horizon for drone pilots who hold a remote pilot license, from aerial cinematography to work in agriculture, forestry, mapping, and much more (even if a recent survey by Skylogic Research debunked the media hype about drones, showing for example that 75% of aerial business providers in the U.S. perform one to five projects only per month).

About the Scholarship

The High School STEM Scholarship for Aspiring Commercial Drone Pilots was launched to support high school students ages 16 and up who are serious about becoming certified drone pilots by helping them prepare for the FAA’s Part 107 test.

An additional goal is to help further the use of drones in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education.

Scholarship recipients get free access to Drone Pilot Ground School‘s remote test prep course for the FAA’s Part 107 test (value of $299), and the first 100 students to take the test will have their test fee covered (up to $150), for a total value of approximately $450.

Who’s eligible?

Eligible students must:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Be currently enrolled in high school
  • Live in the U.S.

How many students can apply?

There is an unlimited number of scholarships available, but only the first 100 students accepted will also have their Part 107 testing fee covered.

What is the deadline?

There is no deadline – applicants will be accepted on a rolling, case-by-case basis.

You can apply directly on the scholarship page.