The drone industry is growing at a fast pace, the regulation rules, and violation fines are also increasing excessively. The Federal Aviation Administration is in charge of regulating the mainland airspace, inside the same agency the drone industry is within the regulated including the drone pilot community. Between the FAA and the drone pilot community, an intermediary is needed to litigate court cases of those who had failed or accused of violating a series of established rules and regulations to maintain order and control of the United States airspace. Those individuals are considered drone law experts, those individuals are experts dealing with everything related with aviation and emerging unmanned aircraft technologies. Some of them are mentioned below.
Gregory S. McNeal, JD / Ph.D., Professor of Law and Public Policy who is a writer, drone expert, entrepreneur and keynote speaker. Dr. McNeal is the co-founder of drone software company AirMap. He is an expert on related technology, law, and policy topics on which he specializes in drone law and regulations. He is also part of the Micro UAS Aviation Rulemaking Committee, This group was formed to give recommendations that would allow certain unmanned aircraft operate over people not directly involved with the flight of the aircraft. Also, he is recognized by Forbes magazine as a commentator and speaker for academic and industrial conferences related to drones and other topic related to other emerging technologies.
Jonathan Rupprecht, J.D., Esq., CFI, CFI-I, he is an aviation attorney who specializes on unmanned aircraft, also he is a Professor at the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Mr. Rupprecht also specializes in article writing about drone law and regulations. Besides that, he is part of the aviation industry, he is a certified FAA commercial pilot and a certified FAA flight instructor. He is the author of a drone law book. Also, he was among of the first group to obtain the Part 107 waiver for night operations, this waiver allows for operations in Class G airspace throughout the entire United States until 2020.
Timothy M. Ravich, Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida with a scholarly focus on administrative law, national security, and aviation law. He has served as a counsel for emerging commercial drone companies. He specializes in teaching aviation and space law. Also, he has published various articles about Air Law, Media, and Entertainment Law and the publications of a course book, Aviation Law after September 11th (Vandeplas 2010). He is featured regularly on national and international media and report news in the television and radio featuring aviation and aerospace issues related with the law and regulations.
Drone Law and its regulations exceptions are affecting the drone enthusiast’s pockets.
The FAA and its regulations exceptions are most costly to the drone pilot community. Discrepancies between the Federal Aviation Agency and local law are affecting the way the law is enforced. Before flying an unmanned aircraft, a series of pre-requisites are needed to lawfully perform that first flight. First of all, every drone user has to register their aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration before making or conducting the first flight. After that step, the drone user may have in consideration the type of pilot he is going to be if the pilot desires to become a commercial drone user the individual needs to acquire the part 107 certification. That certification allows the pilot to be exempt from some regulations established by the FAA, besides that it enables the drone user to generate profits from its services.
The U.S. Congress granted the FAA with authority to regulate the aviation safety, those regulations allow them to control the navigable airspace and air traffic. Local government is not allowed to restrict any type of aircraft operations including the unmanned aircraft. Other regulations are not subject to the federal enforcement, land use, zoning, privacy, and law enforcement are only controlled by the local rules. This is when the discrepancies in regulations cost a tremendous amount of money to those drone users who are not well informed about the drone law local exceptions.
Research conducted during the creation of this article probes how expensive are the discrepancies between the Federal Aviation Agency and the local drone law exceptions. The findings are approximations of the costs to the drone pilot community.
According to PetaPixel, a Chicago based company named SkyPan International was fined $1.9 million for endangering airspace safety. According to the FAA, the company embarked 65 unauthorized flights on which they photographed the aerial view of the city of Chicago. This case was complicated and confusing just because of the regulations exceptions, this time SkyPan possessed a commercial drone pilot license but because they conducted those 65 flights over one of the most congested airspaces the FAA enforced their power to maintain control over airspace safety.
Established by the FAA the maximum civil penalty is up to $27,000 just for not registering a drone and flying, the criminal penalties fines can be up to $250,000 or 3 years in prison. Those who engaged in illegal activities like smuggling are subject to stiffer fines and jail time
Local businesses are reinventing their operations just to overcome the difficulties the Island experienced in the aftermath of a destructive natural event.
After almost a year from the impact of Hurricane Maria as many as 7,000 Puerto Rican local businesses remain closed. The central affection was the damage to the physical infrastructure and the inaccessibility to their locations. The 95% of the power grid was destroyed, this was another setback for those local businesses whos physical structures survived.
Not having electricity was the worst impact for Edwin Solano who is a local photographer that was unfairly affected by the destructive aftermath of the Hurricane. According to Mr. Solano, the Hurricane Maria changed his emotions causing a sentimental affection that put him against himself. That affection prevented him from being the happy person who he is all the time.
Thinking out-the-box pushed him out of the sadness emotional state, this activated his creativity, and many ideas helped him to reinvent his business operations. As part of the small business owners community, he managed to start doing new photographic offerings that attracted a new breed of clients who are in search of reliable services inside a deteriorated industry.
Events such as weddings, love stories, and maternity photography were suspended after the storm. Those events are part of the primary business source for Edwin Solano. He worked a solution to still work without the much-needed electricity service opening a new opportunity to encourage people to trust in his business and work quality.
According to an analysis released by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at New York’s Hunter College, “the market is shrinking as a result of an accelerating exodus of Puerto Ricans fleeing conditions on the island. An estimated 135,000 residents have relocated to the U.S. mainland since Maria.” Other business owners are also reinventing themselves to survive no matter the conditions and available resources. The residents who stayed in the Island decided that they want to be part of the recovering process efforts.
ConWaste the local company who reinvented the debris and waste disposal process after the impact of Hurricane Maria over Puerto Rico.
After a destructive or catastrophic event, the amount of debris is immense and represents a real problematic. Puerto Rico experienced this situation recently and is still recovering from huge amounts of displaced debris all over the island. The day after the impact of Hurricane Maria, the desolation covered all locations impacting and disconnecting all the communities from the roads in every region.
During an interview offered by Maribelle Marrero who is the Vice President of ConWaste, she gave details about the recovery efforts they use for the cleaning and reorganizing of the island. She said that the company provided gas to their employees to assure they can go home and return to work every day. Also, providing them with gas was an exclusive provision behalf the company because the process of finding it at the gas stations was almost impossible.
According to conwastepr.com, Consolidated Waste Services, Corp. (ConWaste) is a Puerto Rico’s largest local waste management company, fully developed by Puerto Ricans since its foundation in 1993 in San Juan. ConWaste has offered its clients complete solutions for the management of solid, biomedical, and industrial waste, as well as a full recycling program in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
FEMA alongside with the US Army Corps of Engineers worked together to help the disposal management company by giving them a strict debris removal guideline. That guideline consisted on expedite the debris removal process. Their efforts were to maintain organization and calm inside a completely destroyed place. Also, their intentions to maintain a safe labor environment helped to save time and the security of those working towards the recovery and cleaning of the island.
Prevention and safety measures helped to reduce and maintain the after disaster casualties. The Island of Puerto Rico is on track to completely recover from obstructive and destructive debris, the roads are clear and most of them accessible to the regular traffic.
The Agriculture Sector is adopting new farming methods
The impact of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico was atrocious the whole population is still suffering and learning how to survive with the available resources. The survival instincts pushed different sectors to reinvent themselves and create new effective methods to put the Island back on track.
According to Carlos Flores Ortega the Secretary of Agriculture for the Department of Agriculture for Puerto Rico, eighty percent of the Island’s crop was destroyed. Mr. Flores Ortega is confident about the agriculture sector and its recovery. The government is also helping the farmers by promoting the local farming manufacturing and distribution and decreasing the import of food to the island from 80 percent to 70 percent.
This time the agriculture sector is working towards the progress and survival of its industry. Puerto Rico Coffee Roasters, LLC is a manufacturing and distribution coffee company on the Island that is working using an innovative farming method that is ‘eco-friendly’. The farming method consists of making the coffee crops more resistant to pests, drought, and low productivity. Their re-invention consists of a coffee-milling process that fossil fuel is not utilized to dry the coffee beans, helping reduce the environmental contamination.
Puerto Rico Coffee Roasters is a pioneer experimenting with new farming methods, according to their webpage, in 2015 they germinated and produced one million coffee trees this is thanks to the new crops that are resistant to the pests and drought. The same innovative farming method had been helping to the recovery of the agriculture sector after the impact of Hurricane Maria. They expect to harvest and produce new coffee by the year 2020 with an approximate 2.5 million pounds of coffee.
This initiative is already giving excellent results all around the island, other food farmers are already enjoying the stability after the disastrous remnants of the Hurricane Maria.
The Island is still recovering from the catastrophic event
On September 20, 2017, the Island of Puerto Rico suffered the effects of the hurricane Maria. This was a category 5 storm with sustained winds of 175 mph. This huge climate phenomenon struck the island during a period of almost 12 hours, leaving behind a massive destruction. The whole island was completely blacked out with the 100% of the electrical grid destroyed.
The communications infrastructure was almost completely down and damaged, the complete chaos reigned during the weeks after the storm. The local and federal government agencies struggled with the lack and ability to communicate and reach remote places inside the island. FEMA, the Armed Forces, the local government and other organizations including local artists worked together before, during and after the pass of the hurricane.
The most critical part of all this catastrophe was immediately the pass of the hurricane, this was when everyone united themselves and worked together to survive and reconstructed the island. Today 9 months after the tragical event Puerto Ricans are more united than ever fighting against the desolation. The streets are mostly clear of debris, the power grid is 99% re-established and the residential infrastructure is in the reconstruction phase.
Their biggest concern is the reality of another active hurricane season, the risk of getting struck again by another natural phenomenon is more real than ever. The weak power grid is a time bomb that can be destroyed by any weather inclement. Some roads inside the remote parts of the island are still in the process of being reconstructed and the small progress can be damaged by any flood caused by heavy rains.
The people from Puerto Rico is well known for being resilient and resistant in front of any negative situation, they are not easy to give up. The island’s population is also well known for its bravery and strength to fight against any adversity.
This video contains images and video clips from the ‘Couples Portraiture Workshop’ conducted by OWL DP. Medicine Park, Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Photography workshops and seminars are mostly seen as unnecessary by many photographers who are experienced with long years of working the art. Once some of them reached a secure position between those who have a permanent clientele they stop studying other styles and possibilities. The more they work with customers for long years the more comfortable they feel with what they do, this is good but what is better is the fact they can continue improving the art by just assisting and collaborating with workshops.
According to Rhommel Bernardino, “A photography workshop is a place to which everyone who is interested in photography should pay a visit every once in a while; especially workshops organized by renowned professionals. It’s a great place to observe and learn, not to mention the opportunity to discuss your own ideas with expert photographers”.
An experienced photography instructor can lead the interested in the continuous learning phase, which is necessary to stay nourishing yourselves with new photography trends and techniques. Anyone who has the desire to instruct others with their previously acquired knowledge is welcome to share their expertise, you never know when you can also learn from others.
As part of a story coverage, a visit to the Medicine Park Portrait Workshop was an excellent lesson that needs to be shared with others interested in improving the art of photography. This time was a photography workshop dedicated to ‘couples portraiture’, this was a private event which had a limited number of photographers allowed to visit the area due to being a natural forest reserve. The area is located at the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge at the Linear Forest, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. This area is well known for its natural resources and its beautiful looks.
During this workshop, José Rivera from OWL Digital Photography took the time to explain how to photograph inside a forest where the shade of the trees can manipulate or damage the usage of natural light. He explained the usage of a combination of strobe lights with reflectors to redirect and diffuse the natural and artificial light available. Also, other difficult situation encountered when photographing just before sunset is the risk of losing too much time and not achieving better results because of low light conditions. This place had limitations at the time finding the perfect spot between so many tall trees but with the advantage of not having visual distractions.
The advantage of having José as an instructor is his expertise photographing on variable locations such as tropical environments, cold, and desert. This gives him the opportunity of knowing how different temperatures and environment can change the output and result of a well-captured image. Everyone can have a different photographic eye but the art and opportunity of improving it are the same to anyone interested in better themselves as photographers.
When the photographer is open to the constant changes inside the industry is willing to improve day by day with the chance of getting more customers, more views, positive feedbacks and impeccable reputation.