On Tuesday, June 21, 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration announced that it had finalized the first operational rules for routine commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (#UAS, #drones, #UAV). The new rules will take effect in late August. These rules have been a long time coming and, according to the FAA, they have been designed to “minimize risks to other aircraft and people and property on the ground.” These regulations apply to commercial use of drones less than 55 pounds, under 400 feet above ground level. The regulations require drone pilots to keep their drone in their line of sight at all times. It also requires that the drone operator have a newly created “remote pilot certificate” with a “small UAS rating.” The remote pilot certificate requires individuals to pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center or have an existing non-student Part 61 pilot certificate. As part of the remote pilot certificate application process, the #TSA will conduct a security background check of all remote pilot applications. Part 61 pilot certificate holders may obtain a temporary remote pilot certificate immediately upon submission of their application for a permanent certificate. Other applicants will obtain a temporary remote pilot certificate upon successful completion of TSA security vetting. The FAA anticipates that it will be able to issue a temporary remote pilot certificate within 10 business days after receiving a completed remote pilot certificate application.
For more information about the new drone rules, visit the FAA’s website or send an email to Taber Law Group, P.C.