Summary of the FAA’s Proposed Drone Regulations

This morning the FAA held a conference call to announce its highly anticipated small UAS (sUAS) regulations. Sunday morning might strike as odd timing, however it’s likely that the timing had to do with the leak of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regulatory Evaluation, Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, which I wrote about on here yesterday. Below is a summary of the critical aspects of the proposed regulations from the FAA summary (the proposed rules have not been made available at the time of writing).

Operational Limitations

• UAS must be under 55lbs
• UAS must be operated within visual line of sight
• FPV is not permitted
• Operator must not fly over people not involved in the operation
• Daylight operations only
• Maximum speed of 87 knots
• Maximum altitude 500 feet AGL
• A single person cannot act as an operator for more than one UAS operation at a time

Operator Certification and Responsibilities
• Operators must pass an aeronautical test
• Operators must obtain an sUAS operating certificate

Aircraft Requirements
• Airworthiness is NOT required
• Aircraft markings required

Model Aircraft
• Proposed rule would not apply to model aircraft
• Proposed rule would codify the FAA’s enforcement authority in respect of model aircraft operators who are endangering the safety of the national airspace

Some of the items that are not addressed in the FAA summary which I am particularly interested in are: (1) whether the proposed rules allow a single person to operate a fleet of drones within the same operation, and (2) what the TSA security clearance check will entail.

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2 Responses to Summary of the FAA’s Proposed Drone Regulations

  1. flitelab says:

    Reblogged this on in the flitelab and commented:
    Seems to be very much in line with Canadian regulations, although a few differences. Will be interesting if Transport Canada modifies their requirements around “Compliant UAVs” now that FAA has made some recommendations.

  2. Adam says:

    I think there should be consideration more freedom of flight for craft with additional equipment such as rapid decent control (parachute), and detect and avoid systems. Specifically for flying over people not connected to the operation of the craft.

    FPV operations past LOS should also be allowed, but given a lower ceiling

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