The DOT and FAA announced the routine commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems in the United States.
We are part of a new era in aviation, and the potential for unmanned aircraft will make it safer and easier to do certain jobs, gather information, and deploy disaster relief. We look forward to working with the aviation community to support innovation, while maintaining our standards as the safest and most complex airspace in the world. – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx
The new rule takes effect in late August. It allows the use of unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds for non-hobbyist operations. In layman’s terms — you can now shoot aerial footage for commercial video production projects. The FAA will offer a waiver for operations, requiring pilots to keep unmanned aircraft within visual line of sight, operated only during daylight hours. Twilight hours if the drone has anti-collision lights.
With this new rule, we are taking a careful and deliberate approach that balances the need to deploy this new technology with the FAA’s mission to protect public safety. But this is just our first step. We’re already working on additional rules that will expand the range of operations. – FAA Administrator Michael Huerta
It’s Now Legal to Fly Drones for Commercial Use – Drone Piloting Commercial Use Image via Shutterstock Under the final rule, the person actually flying a drone must be at least 16 years old and have a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating or be directly supervised by someone with such a certificate. To qualify for a remote pilot certificate, an individual must pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center. The TSA will conduct a security background check of all remote pilot applications prior to issuance of a certificate. Operators are responsible for ensuring a drone is safe before flying, but the FAA is not requiring small UAS to comply with current agency airworthiness standards or aircraft certification. Instead, the remote pilot will simply have to perform a preflight visual and operational check of the small UAS to ensure that safety-pertinent systems are functioning property. This includes checking the communications link between the control station and the UAS.