FAA Releases Proposed Drone Rules

The Department of Transportation’s FAA finally released its framework of proposed rules governing the use of small drones in a conference call held Sunday.

FAA Commissioner Michael P. Huerta

FAA Commissioner Michael P. Huerta

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Here are some of the salient points on the proposed rules as taken from notes of some members of the prestigious New York City Drone Users Group (NYCDUG), led by founder and president Steve Cohen, who were able to get through to the FAA  Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) Conference Call.

Steve Cohen notes that FAA will create a new class of license for sUAS, there will be no medical examination requirement.The test will be a written proficiency exam and testing will take place in multiple convenient locations. Licensed pilots will be required to take this test in addition to prior certifications. Read more here:

According to Jay Bregman, a drone advocate from the NYCDUG, DOT Sec. Foxx said its report was finished two weeks ago, and that “Technology is not just changing the automobile, it is changing aviation.”

The DOT’s paramount concern is safety – and that means ensuring that unmanned aircraft or drones should stay clear of other aircraft, mitigating risks to people and properties on the ground.

We have tried to be flexible in writing these rules,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “We want to maintain today’s outstanding level of aviation safety without placing an undue regulatory burden on an emerging industry.”The agency is researching technology that he hopes will eventually enable small drones to fly safely beyond the sight of operators, Huerta said. He emphasized that introduction of commercial drones into the national airspace will be a staged process. The government is also looking ahead to how larger drones might be allowed to fly in airspace shared by manned aircraft, for example, he said. Read more at:

These proposed rules are not final, so until then Section 333 exemption applies. At the same time, the proposed rules do not apply to hobbyists or recreational users, as they already have model aircraft rules as guidelines, Jay Bregman notes. The FAA has acknowledged the uses of drones in many ares, such as utility tower, antenna, and pipeline inspections (dangerous jobs)], academia, wildlife conservation, crop monitoring, search and rescue, entertainment, including uav aerial photography services.

The FAA, in reply to a query as to how long before the final rules are out , said that they value input from the public, and the agency wants to hear from as many stakeholders as possible.

For new drone operators, the FAA encourages them to visit: http://www.knowbeforeyoufly.org

The Droneologist welcomes these much-awaited proposed regulations from the FAA, relived to note they are not as stringent and restricting as many feared. It is good to see the government acknowledging the great potentials of drones for commercial use, and with these new guidelines, reckless and impudent drone flying will be avoided, and gain more support from sectors concerned about their safety and privacy. James Davis, publisher of  thedroneologist.com stresses, “Drones don’t spy on people people spy on people. So please fly responsibly.”



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