FAA Releases Guidelines for Drone Use

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LAREDO, TEXAS (KGNS) - The Federal Aviation Administration recently released the first set of regulations regarding the use of small unmanned aircraft systems or drones.

"It's about time".

That's GJ Castro.

A drone operator that like thousands of others across the country is thrilled after having waited a long time for the Federal Aviation Administration to release laws regarding the use of drones for commercial purposes.

"It's been a while. It's been about two years since they even started talking about rules and regulations. I'm pretty excited now that they finally released them", said Castro.

"Why are you excited now that the FAA has released these regulations?" Now that the regulations have been passed, as a business owner, I can finally start promoting my business as aerial photography or aerial video work and get a certificate through the FAA that I am a certified drone pilot", said Castro.

The rules state that a person flying a drone must be at least 16 years old and must have a remote pilot certificate or be supervises by someone with a certificate.

Pilots must keep aircraft within their line of sight.

Operations must be performed during daylight unless equipped with special lighting.

The rules also prohibit flights over people who aren't willingly participating in the operation.

Many have expressed their concerns with privacy as well as the dangers of having small drones sharing airspace with larger aircraft.

KGNS reached out to the FAA to find out how they'll enforce these new rules.

FAA officials say they have a number of enforcement tools available to address unauthorized use of UAS, including warning notices, letters of correction, and civil penalties.

They add that they may take enforcement action against anyone who operates a small drone in a way that endangers the safety of the national airspace system.

It's important to note that these rules only apply for commercial use which means it won't affect hobbyists.

Regardless, both the FAA and current drone operators like Castro agree that safety comes first.

"What I would recommend is going to the FAA website. Reading the rules and regulations. Checking your surroundings. Don't fly near airports. Be at least five miles away from an airport. Don't fly over residential areas. Be smart about it", said Castro.

With the new regulations, FAA officials expect thousands of people to sign up to offer drone services in the near future.

According to industry estimates, the rule could generate more than $82 billion for the U.S. Economy and create more than 100,000 new jobs over the next 10 years.

The Federal Aviation Administration recently released the first set of regulations regarding the use of small unmanned aircraft systems or drones.

The release of these regulations is huge for small drone operators.

Prior to this action by the FAA, commercial drone use was restricted to case-by-case approvals and exemptions.

The FAA will now require pilots to keep small drones within visual line of sight as well as limiting hours of operation to daytime use unless the aircraft is equipped with anti-collision lights for use during twilight.

Commercial drone pilots will now need to receive special training every two years.

We heard from one pilot who says these new rules will change the industry.

"You have to go to an FAA accredited school and get your certificate through the FAA allowing you to fly for commercial use. When before you weren't able to. You had to get a special permission, an exemption or you had to have a private pilots license", said GJ Castro.

Since September of 2014, FAA officials says they've issued more than 5,000 exemptions for commercial drone use.

The regulations also address height and speed restrictions including the prohibiting of flights over unprotected people on the ground that are not participating with the drones operations.

These rules only apply to commercial drone use and in no way affect hobbyists.

While many in the industry are excited about the economic potential of these measures.

Many people on the other side of the argument say these rules are not enough as they might create new areas for crime and as some pilots have mentioned could clutter up our airspaces.

Tonight at 10, we'll hear from the FAA regarding how they plan to enforce these rules.

The Federal Aviation administration recently released the first set of regulations regarding the use of small unmanned aircraft systems, or drones.

The FAA will now require pilots to keep the small drones within a visual line of sight, as well as limiting hours of operation to daytime use - unless the aircraft is equipped with anti-collision lights for use during twilight.

Before these rules were released, pilots had to file for special permits and exemptions from the FAA.

Tonight on KGNS News, Reporter Cesar Vanoye gives us more information on these guidelines.



 
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