Q: Are drones legal to fly?
A: Local laws vary widely in terms of who can fly drones, where and for what purpose. Many countries impose restrictions for reasons of security and privacy, and so they won’t interfere with airplanes.
For the Sochi Games, Olympic Broadcasting Services said a flight plan must be filed with the Russian civil aviation authority and permission obtained from local Russian police and the FSB, the successor to the KGB.
The Russian government also bought a fleet of drones to help spot terrorists or troublemakers in the Sochi area, operated by its security services.
In some countries, it’s illegal to fly over crowds. Some countries require civilian users to keep the drone within sight of the pilot. Others have altitude restrictions. In the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration is working on rules for civilian drones.
Good thing Obama isn’t controlling the Sochi drones… or else they’d inadvertently shoot video of athletes’ family members, friends, and local grade schools. [Thanks! I’m here all week. Be sure to tip your waitress.]