*Updated 9/24/15* - Listen to the Edward Page podcast here.

NBTA member Edward Page of Tampa-based firm Carlton, Fields, Jorden & Burt will join Chuck Finney for our next “Your Legal Rights” podcast on Wednesday, Sept. 23. Page will discuss the topic of drones and the issue of public safety, privacy and public trust. We recently interviewed Page to learn more about the upcoming podcast. Here is what he had to say:

We are looking forward to your subject matter this week on Your Legal Rights. Could you give us some details?

Edward Page: The podcast is about drones in the United States (not military drones here or in foreign lands). A legal decision in early 2015 held that drones are aircraft (not model airplanes or something else).

The FAA has a lot of rules about drones. Drone use is exploding in the USA – they are now used to shoot scenes for movies, TV and much more. Farmers use them to monitor their crops. Real estate agents use them to shoot pictures and video of properties for sale. There are dozens of other uses to be made of drones.

Amazon may even use drones for delivery at some point. The FAA reported recently that they have received more than 650 drone sightings as of Aug. 9, 2015. They had a total of 238 in 2014. However, the problem is that folks have seen them as high as 10,000 feet. So, when a United jet hits a drone in the future, it’s going to be a big deal. It’s a big deal now because drones can be used to invade our privacy, to hover near or over the White House, at NFL stadiums full of people, and the like. All of this will be discussed in the podcast.

Do you have a specific topic within the study of drones that you focus on?

Page: I focus on our use of drones that might interfere with other traditional aircraft such as jets, general aviation airplanes, etc. It’s risky business flying nowadays for many pilots.

How did you first decide to start learning more about drones?

Page:  I’ve been studying drones for about two years. I began studying drones when I realized that the FAA was permitting drone usage to commercial operators (real estate folk, surveyors, farmers) and wanted to get involved in helping folks get permits to operate them. I have written about it, looked at FAA policy on it and read about the growing use in all industries.  

Where do you see the future of drones heading?

Page: The drone future? We will see both good and bad. The good will be that drones will be used to help people; search and rescue, grow crops, herd sheep and cattle, surveying, military uses, security around buildings and much more.

The bad will be some accidents that will result in deaths, some use to hover a drone over a crime scene, some folks will be charged with using a drone for criminal purposes – to keep a lookout during a bank robbery. Already, we have had one report of a curious drone flyer hovering his drone as the police investigated a crime scene. There are and will be dozens of other improper uses of drones once they become as commonplace as the iphone.

Please be sure to tune is Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 7 PM Pacific. To listen to “Your Legal Rights” with Edward Page and Chuck Finney, please click here.