The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to come up with its rules for commercial drones in the near future and a new report today suggests that the FAA will require commercial drone operators to have a pilot’s license. Moreover, these new rules may even restrict flight times to daylight hours.
It merits mentioning here that the FAA has not yet confirmed if these rules are true, it is only The Wall Street Journal that is reporting this, citing “people familiar with the rule-making process.” The scribe is regarded as a trustworthy source so there might be some truth to this.
Under the new rules commercial drone flights may be limited to an altitude of 400-feet and to the pilot’s line of sight. Apparently the rules are going to apply to any and all unmanned aircraft weighing under 55 pounds, which means easily available drones like DJI Phantom line and the Parrot Bebop will be governed by these rules as well.
Even though the rules will be announced in the near future, it may take a couple of years before they’re finalized. Other branches of the government are reviewing the new rules that will govern drones, the White House will review them as well, and so far it remains unclear how hobbyists will be impacted by this.