Drones: What's Legal and What's Not - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Drones: What's Legal and What's Not

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The skies are not so friendly with all of this wind. But even without the wind it's still a bit of a hostile environment where 'drones' are concerned. The skies are not so friendly with all of this wind. But even without the wind it's still a bit of a hostile environment where 'drones' are concerned.

KENNEWICK, WA - The skies are not so friendly with all of this wind. But even without the wind it's still a bit of a hostile environment where 'drones' are concerned.

Really, it's all kind of a gray area. Congress should have new guidelines settled by late next year. But for now, it's up to the FCC and the FAA on what 'flies.'

So, what exactly are drones?

"They're devices that fly on their own and are able to be used for whatever use. This device here is 100-percent controlled by me. It cannot do anything without me," said Bryan Monarch.

Monarch is one of the entrepreneurs behind UpAngle Productions. The company uses UAV's (or unmanned aerial vehicles) for a fresh 'angle' on their work. 

The catch? The small aircraft is illegal for commercial and promotional use.

"We're kind of playing ourselves as a startup to be able to positions ourselves when that regulation does come through that we'll be able to set up and be able to fly these things all the time professionally," said Monarch.

Here's the issue: while what they use isn't technically a drone, drones can be considered UAV's.

"A lot of the stuff that people are worried about when they hear the word drone is either air strikes or the stuff that's happening in the military or the surveillance that happens. People are worried when they hear the word drone because it's associated with that stigma. Obviously, we like to use the term UAV in the industry," said Monarch.

Right now, farmers can use such devices on their own property and law enforcement, government agencies and research facilities can apply for a type of permit to use them.

Monarch is hoping the 2015 guidelines allow the use of UAV's and that Congress sees the potential here.

 

"But we also hope that they're thinking about people's safety, thinking about their privacy and things that people obviously care about. We hope that it's similar to regular airplane regulation," said Monarch.

Safety and privacy are the biggest issues concerning drones, or UAV's, right now. If they were to become full-on legal, things like licensing, proper training and insurance coverage could be regulated.
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