F.A.A. Halts Delivery Drones Even Before Take Off

The Federal Aviation Administration wants packages delivered the traditional way: by truck. The F.A.A banned the use of delivery drones for business purposes until further notice in a memo released this week. The memo, titled “Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft,” noted that since 2007 the commercial use of drones has been illegal in the United States. 

Last year on “60 Minutes,” Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder, hovered over the idea of using drones to deliver packages and planning to name its new delivery service “Prime Air.” With Amazon offering free delivery, couldn’t the company say the drones weren’t being used for business? The F.A.A. doesn’t agree. According to the memo, “Any operation not conducted strictly for hobby or recreation purposes could not be operated under the special rule for model aircraft. Clearly, commercial operations would not be hobby or recreation flights.”

As of now, flying drones for fun or hobby are still considered legal. However, they have to be kept below 400 feet and in no way used for commercial services. Ryan Calo, an assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Law who specializes in robotics and drones, believes it is unlikely that drones will be permanently banned for commercial purposes in the U.S., according to the New York Times. He believes it is only a matter of time before drones are safe enough and powerful enough to provide delivery services. The F.A.A. said it plans to reconsider drones for commercial use at a later date and new rules in place by 2015.


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Nick Banks

Nick created Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group in 2002 and spent the first eight years developing and acquiring office and retail projects in South Florida as well as North Central Florida. In 2010 the focus of the firm was shifted to primarily serve third party clients and perform brokerage, property management and mortgage banking functions. Nick has personally developed and acquired nearly 200,000 square feet of office and retail properties in markets throughout Florida. Prior to founding Front Street, Nick was the Director of Finance and Dispositions for Stiles Corporation in Fort Lauderdale where he financed and sold over $500 million in commercial real estate. Before joining Stiles, Nick was an Associate Director at GE Capital Real Estate where he sourced over $200 million in financing throughout Florida. Nick is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Finance and a concentration in Real Estate. He serves as a board member and current vice-chair for the United Way of North Central Florida where he also chairs the Development Committee. Nick is actively involved with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce where he serves as a board member and committee member for the Council for Economic Outreach. He is also a recent graduate of Leadership Gainesville which is a year long leadership program hosted by the Chamber. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church where he has served as finance chair and as a member of the leadership council. Nick serves as an advisory board member of the University of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. Nick was recently named chair of the Gainesville committee for the North Florida chapter of Urban Land Institute (ULI). He is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida and is a long time member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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