FAA Releases Regulations for Commercial Drone Use
On Sunday, Federal Aviation Authority announced its proposed requirements for the commercial drone use. The authority released strict guidelines for companies looking to use unmanned aircrafts commercially.
FFA stated that the drones have to be less than 55 pounds, are to be operated during the day within the line of sight of its operator. Moreover, these drones are required to fly under 500 feet and at speed of 100 miles per hour max. Lastly, they are not allowed to fly over anyone other than those involved with its flight.
These guidelines are a major setback for companies like Amazon, who have been looking to use drones for delivery. Amazon stated that these regulations won’t allow their PrimeAir to fly in America. PrimeAir is Amazon’s under development drone delivery service.
“The FAA needs to begin and expeditiously complete the formal process to address the needs of our business, and ultimately our customers,” said Paul Misener, Amazon vice president for global policy “We are committed to realizing our vision for Prime Air and are prepared to deploy where we have the regulatory support we need.”
The idea to use drones commercially has gained a lot of interest over the years. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International believes that drone integration in the US skies will have an economic impact of more than $13.6 billion.
Since Amazon revealed its plans for PrimeAir, attention to safety had become a main concern for the FAA, especially after a recreational drone went down on The White House grounds.
FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in a statement Sunday:
We have tried to be flexible in writing these rules. We want to maintain today’s outstanding level of aviation safety without placing an undue regulatory burden on an emerging industry.
Amazon doesn’t look to be happy about these rules but on the other hand, drone makers are welcoming it. That’s because these rules are lenient compared to what was previously required.
“This proposed rule is a critical milestone in the [unmanned aircraft systems] integration process, and one that is long overdue,” AUVSI CEO Brian Wynne said in a statement. “UAS technology has largely remained grounded while many prospective users wait for the regulatory framework to catch up. This is a good first step.”
When it comes to a drone operator, he/she must be at least 17-years old and is required to pass aeronautical knowledge test to get an FAA certificate. A knowledge test will be needed every year to maintain the certificate.