Regulation is not always a part of what drone racers think of, (or should), but the FAA has recently announced something called the Rule 107 which could have far reaching impact on the drone racing industry.
In short, part 107 is a long awaited rule published by the FAA that was touted as a way to allow for easier commercial applications for Drones. The first such ruling called the “333” was very stringent and hard to qualify for as such a limited number of companies applied and were granted 333 authorization. One of the stated goals of the FAA was to make it easier to do commercial aerial photography by releasing the part 107 ruling.
How does this relate to Drone racing? Well depending upon who you ask, and the FAA own site is vague, that all drone pilots would have to have a 107 authorization unless they are a part of an organized and recognized organization. It also requires things in the application process which includes a background check and passing a test with a fee of 150 bucks every two years. Not the least of which included an age requirement of 16 years of age unless aided by an authorized adult.
While it is still not clear, does that mean that a Luke Bannister-type drone racer at 15 would have to have an adult next to him to take over the controls? I don’t think that I’d raise my hand for that one.
We’ll be following this as it develops.