New FAA drone rules open skies to limited commercial flights

Photo of author

By Larry Banks

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) this week released drone regulations that allow limited commercial, research and rescue flights.

The new rules come into force in August, and will allow drone flights for agriculture, research and development and education and academic use, according to a report in Reuters. Other allowed areas include aerial photography, wildlife nesting evaluations, and inspections (pipelines, power lines, bridges, etc).

The drones however must weigh less than fifty five pounds and must not fly over four hundred feet, as well as being limited to one hundred miles an hour. The aircraft may fly at nighttime with special lights, but must at all times stay more than five miles away from airports. No drones will be allowed in Washington, D.C. due to security policies.

Pilots must also be over sixteen years old, have the appropriate certification, and tell the FAA when an accident happens with serious injuries, or property damage. Pilots must also stay within visual range of their vehicles at all times and not fly directly over people.

What isn’t yet covered by the new rules are aerial deliveries, such as those planned by Amazon and others. FAA head Michael Huerta says a separate set of rules covering those cases will arrive in future.

SOURCE: AppleInsider.

Images Courtesy of DepositPhotos