Drones and the FAA Small UAS Rule

Author: Justin Mackey

It's a bird. It's a plane. No, it's a drone.

Drones are a hot topic, whether it’s the effectiveness and precision of military strikes, aerial photography / videography, mail delivery, or just ordinary consumer operations. For years, the FAA failed to issue appropriate regulations and guidelines for flying unmanned aircrafts in the United States.  An issue that delayed commercial drone usage for businesses and professionals.   Prior to the Small UAS rule, a 333 Exemption was required to fly drones along with a traditional pilot license.  This created an impossible authorization process for those without a pilot license looking to solely operate drones.  In addition, those with traditional pilot licenses were forced to wait 5-7 months in order to obtain 333 Exemption.  The FAA finally addressed the these problems with the Small UAS Rule Part 107 which finally explains the requirements to fly a drone in the United States.  Here are some of the highlights.

Drone Flying

Don’t overdue your accessories.  The unit can only weigh 55 pounds.

You must be able to see your drone device at all times.  No sight, no flight!  You must also be able to have weather visibility 3 miles away.

You cannot fly over people unless they are covered or the people are the persons flying the unit.

Get it done before bedtime.  No flying at night!

Speed limit?  Yes, 100 mph groundspeed.

Airspace B, C, D, E require Air Traffic Controller approval.  Airspace G does not!

You cannot be in motion while operating a drone and you can only fly one at a time.

Must have a Remote Pilot Airman certification with Small UAS rating or be under the supervision of of someone with this certification.

Check your equipment before flying.

For more information and the full Small UAS part 107 visit https://www.faa.gov/uas/.

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