Though drones hold a ton of potential for the advancement of the construction industry and $100 billion worth of growth potential for the U.S. economy, that unfortunately doesn’t mean that morons can’t fly them.
In fact, the amount of morons flying drones has “increased dramatically over the past year,” according to the Federal Aviation Administration which was recently forced to issue a warning to all pilots of the unmanned aircraft.
According to the FAA release, pilot reports of drones getting too close to airplanes and helicopters in flight have risen to 650 in 2015 as of August 9—a 173-percent increase from the 238 reports in all of 2014.
“This year, 138 pilots reported seeing drones at altitudes of up to 10,000 feet during the month of June, and another 137 in July,” according to the release. For reference, the FAA says you shouldn’t fly a drone above 400 feet in personal use.
The FAA says it is working closely with law enforcement to identify and investigate unauthorized drone flights. It warns drone operators that they could face “stiff fines and criminal charges, including possible jail time,” if they disobey the suggested protocols for safe operation. “The FAA has levied civil penalties for a number of unauthorized flights in various parts of the country, and has dozens of open enforcement cases,” according to the release.