The Federal Aviation Administration is reportedly thinking about softening drone restrictions and allowing flights over crowds. The proposals have been unveiled this week which would classify drones in three main categories each with their own set of restrictions. The drones will be categorized based on their weight and the amount of damage that they can potentially do to a person.
Drones that weigh less than 0.55 pounds will fit in the first category. They will be allowed to fly over crowds with no restrictions beyond what the FAA already has in place, this includes not flying over 400 feet in the air and always maintaining a line of sight with the operator.
The second and third categories are based on the amount of damage that can be done to a person instead of weight. Category three drones will be deemed to cause the most harm. Both categories will require the drone’s rotary blades to be shielded. The category three drones will not be allowed to hover individuals but flybys will be permitted. These drones can’t be flown over crowds and operators will have to notify people if they will be flying it over a restricted access site.
The FAA is now seeking comments from the public regarding these new rules. It will be a long process and these rules are not expected to come into effect until at least 2020.