FAA Drafts Commercial Drone Use Regulations; Full Pilots License Not Needed

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The FAA’s new proposed drone rules would make it fairly simple for real estate agents, aerial photographers, farmers and police departments to fly small drones for work purposes. Limitations include flying drones only during daylight hours and within eyesight of the operator or observers posted on the ground. The drones could fly no more than 100 mph and would have to stay below an altitude of 500 feet to avoid the risk of colliding with other aircraft.

The new rules ban objects from being dropped from drones; so Amazon, pizza companies and newspaper delivery are out of luck for now.


Here are highlights from the press release:

Under the proposed rules, the person actually flying a small UAS would be an “operator.” An operator would have to be at least 17 years old, pass an aeronautical knowledge test and obtain an FAA UAS operator certificate. To maintain certification, the operator would have to pass the FAA knowledge tests every 24 months. A small UAS operator would not need any further private pilot certifications (private pilot license or medical rating).

The new rule proposes operating limitations designed to minimize risks to other aircraft and people and property on the ground:

  • A small UAS operator must always see and avoid manned aircraft. If there is a risk of collision, the UAS operator must be the first to maneuver away.
  • The operator must discontinue the flight when continuing would pose a hazard to other aircraft, people or property.
  • A small UAS operator must assess weather conditions, airspace restrictions and the location of people to lessen risks if he or she loses control of the UAS.
  • A small UAS may not fly over people, except those directly involved with the flight.
  • Flights should be limited to 500 feet altitude and no faster than 100 mph.
  • Operators must stay out of airport flight paths and restricted airspace areas, and obey any FAA Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs).

The current unmanned aircraft rules remain in place until the FAA implements a final new rule. The FAA encourages new operators to visit: KnowBeforeYouFly

For more information go to the FAA press release.


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