FAA Guidelines for Commercial Drone Use

The FAA’s framework of proposed regulations for commercial drone use released in Sunday’s conference call list a number of specifics, but it looks like delivery drones will have to wait further before being granted the go signal to fly.

Paramount to FAA and most welcome by communities of drone users is safety; flight restrictions include the following:

– Stay in line of sight
– Drone Weight should be less than 55lbs
– Daylight operations only
– 500ft above the ground
– 5 miles from airports

Watch Steve Cohen of the NYCDUG in telecast interviews here and here:

In addition, drone operators need to be certified. Pilots will have to pass a knowledge test (but not a practical test) to get a newly developed drone operator license and will have to be vetted by the TSA. They will have to take a recurrent test every 24 months and be at least 17 years old. Pilots will only be allowed to fly during daytime hours and must be able to see the drone at all times (though they can also use a second operator as an observer). Once an operator has this license, it will apply to all small drones. Read more at:

The FAA for now doesn’t allow for regular use of commercial drones, so Hollywood studios and others have needed to gain special waivers to use the devices today. While the new rules provide for broad use of drones to shoot TV shows or movies, survey agricultural land or inspect a bridge, they nix the potential use of delivery drones, like those being developed by Amazon and Google, an FAA representative confirmed. However, the rules are still subject to change before being finalized. Read more here:

President Obama likewise signed a Presidential Memorandum to promote economic competitiveness and innovation while safeguarding privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties in the domestic use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).

Paul Misener, Amazon vice president for global policy, said the FAA’s proposed new rules “wouldn’t allow Prime Air to operate in the United States.” Prime Air is the name of Amazon’s developmental program for drone delivery. Amazon’s Misner called for rules that would address Amazon’s plan for using drones to deliver packages. Read more at:

Amazon’s Prime Air Delivery Drone Still Grounded by FAA

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Check out this video on How will drone regulations impact Amazon’s delivery business?

The proposed within-line-of-sight rule limits drone usage for commercial uav aerial photography services, and other areas such as crop monitoring or search-and-rescue operations.

Still, the proposed new rules, despite its many limitations, already provide a great relief to potential commercial drone users. James Davis, publisher of thedroneologist.com certainly agrees with drone user communities at large that “it is a step in the right direction by the FAA for the drone industry.”



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