New FAA Drone Regulations

New FAA Drone Regulations Take Effect August 29, 2016:
The New Rules and What They Could Mean for Industry

August 29, 2016

After being finalized earlier this summer, the Federal Aviation Administration’s new drone regulations go into effect on August 29, 2016. While the economic and other implications of the new rules remain to be seen, there is no doubt the drone industry is booming. PwC, a global consultancy, predicts drone-powered solutions will constitute a $127-billion global market by 2020.

The New Regulations

The new rules, designated as Part 107 of the Federal Aviation Regulations, apply to commercial operations of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)1 weighing less than 55 lbs. and more than 0.55 lbs. The rules set baseline limitations, from which waivers may be granted if an operator can prove that its proposed operations are safe. The rules do not apply to recreational or hobby flights of drones, which are covered under separate Model Aircraft guidelines (Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012).

Key FAA Part 107 Rules:

• Less than 55 lbs. (including payload)
• Remain within natural line-of-sight of operator (approximately 1,000-2,000 feet away)
• Remain under 400 feet above ground level (avoiding commercial aircraft) or, if above 400 feet, within 400 feet of a structure
• Daylight operations only (30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset)
• No faster than 100 mph (87 knots)
• No flights over persons not directly involved in the operation (limits urban flights)
• No flights under covered structures, such as bridges (but indoor flights not covered by FAA)
• Obtain remote pilot airman certificate (requires a knowledge test)
• Register and mark drone with registration number (drone “license plate”)
• Perform pre-flight safety inspection
• Without air-traffic-control permission, operators can fly in Class G airspace (uncontrolled airspace away from airports) – FAA has created B4UFLY app to help operators determine boundary lines
• Air-traffic-control permission required for flights in Class B (large airports), Class C (medium airports), Class D (small airports), and Class E (everything else up to 18,000 feet) airspace
• No flights across state borders
• No careless or reckless operations

See a more extensive list here.

To read the full article, click here.

1 Also referred to as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or “drones”.