Quadcopters are not just being used for personal recreation. Although most of the incredible arial footage is being captured by hobbyist, these small aircraft also play a big role with university research. However, with the increased popularity of quadcopters, the FAA has its head turned to evaluate the rules and regulations of flying these small aircraft. Just with any radio controlled aircraft (airplanes, helicopters, quadcopters), the FAA allows hobbyists to use small quadcopters as long as the pilot stays away from airports and flies them under 400 feet with the aircraft in visible sight. There could probably be exceptions to this in the case of popular models such as the DJI Phantom Vision 2+ which allows operators to fly the small aircraft from a GPS navigational system. There could be times where the operator may lose signal of the control or the person flying the aircraft may be learning but this special navigation system built into these quadcopters are more designed for safety since these are definitely not cheap to replace. Washington has recently made headlines when university and college professors started complaining about the government restrictions on the use of small quadcopters may stop further academic research. There was a letter submitted to the FAA on July 25, 2014 from thirty college professors stating a clarification the agency issued in June on what rules model aircraft hobbyists must follow would eliminate the ability of researchers to use small, unmanned aircraft on low-altitude flights over private property. Opposed to the standard FAA rules of flying these small aircraft, commercial operators or people working for private colleges/universities are prohibited from using the same aircraft under the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) clarification of its policies. This statement was made by Paul Voss who is an associate professor of engineering at Smith College in Northampton Massachusetts. Paul Voss was also the person who headed the letter to the FAA and argued that “under the FAA model aircraft rules, a ten year old hobbyist can freely fly model aircraft for recreation, while our nation’s scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs are prohibited from using the same technology on the same types of environments.” Under the FAA, there is a process for academic researchers to obtain permission to use quadcopters only if they are affiliated with public colleges or universities but not private schools like Smith where Mr. Voss teaches. Researchers from top private schools such as Harvard and Stanford universities have signed the letter along with large public universities like University of Michigan and Wisconsin. There seems to be way too many barriers for obtaining authorization to use quadcopters for research along with limitations on how they are used when permission is granted. This can be very frustrating for private universities because the FAA is telling quadcopter operators that the agency has sole authority over the use of airspace only from the ground up opposed to five hundred feet and above. The current interpretation from the FAA regarding national airspace is entirely so broad that is includes all airspace across the United States. This would include school campuses, private backyards, and possibly inside buildings which was argued in the letter headed by Voss. Since the submission of the letter, there has not been a direct reply from the FAA but the agency bars commercial use of quadcopters stating “they could collide with manned aircraft or injure people on the ground if not flown in a safe manner.” There are still ongoing safety regulations to allow commercial quadcopters but there is still no verification. As of today, FAA officials are aiming to propose regulations permitting the use of commercial drones weighing over fifty-five pounds or less toward the end of 2014.