Over the weekend there was a leak that provided an early glimpse of the upcoming new drone regulations from the Federal Aviation Administration. When the FAA was deliberating on these regulations it was feared that the proposed rules would be very strict, at one point it was even reported that the FAA would require drone operators to have a pilot’s license, but that’s really not the case. FAA has now formally published its proposed rules on commercial drone regulations.
I should make it clear from the get go that these regulations don’t apply to non-recreational drone use so if you want to head to the park and play around with a drone you’re all set.
These regulations are meant to govern the use of drones by businesses like Amazon which has envisaged a future where packages are delivered in under half an hour with drones.
The regulations deal a blow to Amazon’s drone delivery ambitions as they require operators or visual observers to have the unmanned aircraft within visual line-of-sight at all times. The operator or visual observer must be able to see the aircraft unaided by anything other than their corrective lenses.
Maximum airspeed is restricted to 100 mph and maximum altitude to 500 feet above ground level. FAA will only allow operations in the daylight that spans from official sunrise to official sunset as per the local time.
All of the regulations can be studied in detail over at the FAA’s website. Once they’re published in the federal register there will be a 60-day period in which anyone and everyone can send in their comments on these regulations in order to compel the FAA to make a change.