FAA releases new drone regulations

By |  June 23, 2016
Photo credit: wahousegop via Foter.com / CC BY-ND

Photo credit: wahousegop via Foter.com / CC BY-ND

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) finalized the first operational rules for routine commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones). The new rule, which takes effect in late August, offers safety regulations for unmanned aircraft drones that weigh less than 55 pounds and conduct non-hobbyist operations.

The new rules added the following requirements:

  • Drone operator passes an FAA aeronautical knowledge test
  • Drone operator obtains a remote pilot certificate
  • Drone flies at 400 ft. or lower
  • Drone is kept within visual line of sight
  • Drone only flies during daylight
  • Drone is registered

“We are part of a new era in aviation, and the potential for unmanned aircraft will make it safer and easier to do certain jobs, gather information and deploy disaster relief,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We look forward to working with the aviation community to support innovation, while maintaining our standards as the safest and most complex airspace in the world.”

According to FAA, provisions in the rules are designed to minimize risks to other aircraft, people and property. The FAA is also offering a process to waive some restrictions if an operator proves the proposed flight will be conducted safely under a waiver.

Under the final rule, the person flying a drone must be at least 16 years old and have a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating or be directly supervised by someone with the certificate.

“With this new rule, we are taking a careful and deliberate approach that balances the need to deploy this new technology with the FAA’s mission to protect public safety,” says FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “But this is just our first step. We’re already working on additional rules that will expand the range of operations.”

Allison Barwacz

About the Author:

Allison Barwacz is the digital media manager for North Coast Media (NCM). She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University where she received a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She works across a number of digital platforms, which include creating e-newsletters, writing articles and posting across social media sites. She also creates content for NCM's Portable Plants magazine, GPS World magazine and Geospatial Solutions. Her understanding of the ever-changing digital media world allows her to quickly grasp what a target audience desires and create content that is appealing and relevant for any client across any platform.

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