SARASOTA, Fla -- Currently, the use of a remote controlled aircraft -- commonly called drones -- is banned for commercial purposes, except in some rare cases. Drones have been becoming a problem in recent years, thanks to several close calls with commercial passenger planes.
Now the FAA has proposed some new rules about the commercial use of drones.
"I encountered a hobby drone that was used a little bit maliciously" said Sarasota resident, David Glosser.
The situation Glosser is talking about happened months ago, but he remembers it like it was yesterday.
"I was on the balcony of a downtown condo meeting with a client on their very balcony, and a drone came within about 2 feet of our heads and nearly clocked us out," Glosser added.
Experiences like Glosser's are becoming more common. And, as the popularity of drones continues to grow the U.S. government has been scrambling to keep up. Many worry that someone could use the toy planes to do anything from attack those they encounter to invade a persons privacy. But, with the newly proposed rules, drone pilots would need some training.
"It is asking for the drone operator to take a knowledge test every two years and also requires the aircraft to be registered," Jonathan Rupprecht is a Florida attorney who wrote a book on drone laws.
He says the new rules will make it simpler for photographers and other small business to use drones. But other like Tim Wright who owns Wright Brothers Productions, warns that the new rules are not yet in place, and under the current law those caught flying a drone could face fines up to $20,000.
"The FAA would maintain jurisdiction over reckless or dangerous flying regardless of whether you are a hobbyist or a commercial flyer and anybody who fears a 10 thousand or 20 thousand dollar fine that only applies if they deem you flying dangerously or recklessly," added Write
A penalty people glosser says is a good idea for those who take it too far.
"Flying a drone in a city with pedestrians, not a good idea. I think the drones need some regulations so people wont get hurt," said Glosser.