Nats violated FAA regulations with drone use

 

The Washington Nationals’s use of a small drone to capture publicity photos during spring training in Florida did not gain federal approval, according to The Associated Press.

The small, four-rotor drone hovered over Nats players over the course of a few days in Viera, Fla., where the team is tuning up for the 2014 season, according to the AP.

Existing Federal Aviation Administration regulations bar drones for commercial purposes.

“No, we didn’t get it cleared, but we don’t get our pop flies cleared either and those go higher than this thing did,” a team official told the AP.

It was not immediately clear if the team faces any potential penalties for the violation.

The FAA is currently working on regulations to govern the use of commercial drones in the United States. The agency in November released its first “roadmap” for the rule-making process, though final language is still months — or even years — off.

In recent days, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called upon the FAA to move forward with regulations, citing unresolved privacy questions.

In the meantime, the FAA has shut down commercial drone operations, including a Minnesota-based beer company seeking to deliver its product by drone-delivery to ice fisherman.

That dust-up followed a high-profile interview by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos that teased the possibility of drone use to provide faster deliveries of its products. 

Check out the full Associated Press story here.