The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released their initial guidelines on the requirements for commercial drone, quad and multi-rotors. Initial details leaked from the FAA indicated that those wanting to fly drones commercially would need to obtain a full blown pilot license.
Thankfully for both our sanity and our pockets this will not be the case. The proposed rules would govern over unmanned ariel vehicles that are used for commercial use that are under 55 mph. Thus leaves the hobbyist RC sector untouched.
The proposed rules have a separate license for commercial drones that will have to be renewed every three years. The licensing process would include a written test but no kind of flight proficiency test.
The maximum altitude will be limited to 500 feet which is 100ft above what hobbyists are allowed to fly. Additional regulations would include flight time being limited to daylight defined by local sunrise and sunset, with the maximum speed being limited to 100mph.
Other big regulations include that no individual may be underneath the drone unless they are part of the operation of this. Additionally operators must maintain “unassisted line of sight,” (can’t use binoculars to see your drone) on the drone. This means that First Person View (FPV) flight will be prohibited unless you have a second operator. This is a potential death blow to anyone like Amazon who wants to have a drone based delivery service.
Overall the proposed regulation seemed like they will be a positive thing for drone use. With drones growing in popularity there needs to be some regulation. We’ve seen in recent months that people can crash and injure others, with these regulations we can help prevent those injures.