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Drone rule takes effect Monday, awaited by thousands

Drone rule takes effect Monday, awaited by thousands

Source: Bart Jansen, USA TODAY WASHINGTON – The first comprehensive federal rule governing drones takes effect Monday, when government and industry officials say thousands of pilots of remote-controlled aircraft are eager to start their engines. Earl Lawrence, director of the Federal Aviation Administration’s drone office, said 3,351 people signed up to take a test of aviation knowledge Monday —the first day possible — to certify themselves as drone pilots. Another hint of the pent-up demand is that 20,000 commercial drone operators have already registered to start flying, in anticipation of passing those tests that become available Monday, he said. “That’s a good indication we’re going to have a lot of people and a lot of aircraft operating from day one,” Lawrence told a group of dozens of congressional staffers Wednesday. The rule governing drones weighing up to 55 pounds will largely replace the special permission that FAA granted in recent years to 5,542 applications for commercial uses of drones, such as for aerial photography, utility inspection or crop observation. Special waivers could still be granted. But the rule basically allows pilots who pass the test to fly whenever they want up to 400 feet in the air during daylight hours while keeping the aircraft within sight of the pilot and away from other aircraft. Hobbyists have always been allowed to fly under similar guidelines, but commercial pilots have had to file cumbersome applications for special permission — until now. “Monday is a big day,” Lawrence said. “We’re expecting it to blossom tremendously.” The rule released in June was a long time coming. Congress ordered FAA in 2012 legislation to...
FAA PUNTS ON THE PREEMPTION ISSUE IN PART 107

FAA PUNTS ON THE PREEMPTION ISSUE IN PART 107

Source: Drone Laws Blog  Photo Credit: FAA The FAA’s recent announcement of Part 107, the final rule for commercial small unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS or drones), has justifiably received a lot of publicity and general praise.  There has been little comment on what the rule does, or rather does not do, on the issue of federal preemption of state and local drone regulations. Federal preemption is what’s referred to in political circles as a “third rail” issue. Like the electrified third rail on a subway system, you don’t touch it unless you absolutely have to, and it can shock and hurt whatever or whoever touches it.  For that reason, it was not surprising that the FAA’s 2015 SUAS NPRM did not mention preemption.  Nonetheless, during the rulemaking proceeding the FAA received a number of comments on federal preemption. Most contended that without a preemption provision, state and local governments would continue to attempt to regulate small UAS operations, resulting in potentially conflicting rules and hampering the industry’s development. They argued that conflicting rules lead to confusion and litigation costs, burden commercial and hobbyist UAS users, and delay the adoption of UAS technology. Under the federal Administrative Procedure Act, the FAA had a duty to review the preemption comments and make at least some response showing that it had considered the arguments made by commenters.  Continue reading the preemption issue in Part 107…  ...
AC 107-2 – Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS)

AC 107-2 – Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS)

Photo Credit: FAA         Source: FAA The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is amending its regulations to adopt specific rules for the operation of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) through a final rule. These changes address the classification of sUAS, certification of sUAS remote pilots, and sUAS operational limitations. This advisory circular (AC) provides guidance for conducting sUAS operations in the NAS in accordance with Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 107. Summary as of May 2016, see above link for current details signed June AC 107-2 (PDF, 404 KB): Category Proposed Provisions Aircraft Requirements The sUAS must be registered with the FAA prior to flight. Aircraft markings are required. FAA airworthiness certification not required. However, the Remote Pilot in Command (Remote PIC) must maintain small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) in a condition for safe operation and prior to flight must inspect the UAS to ensure that it is in a condition for safe operation. 14 CFR part 107 does not apply to model aircraft that satisfy all of the criteria specified in Public Law 112–95 section 336. 14 CFR part 107 codifies the FAA’s enforcement authority in part 101 by prohibiting model aircraft operators from endangering the safety of the National Airspace System (NAS). Remote Pilot in Command (Remote PIC) Certification and Responsibilities Remote PICs are required to: • Be at least 16 years old • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language (FAA may make exceptions for medical reasons) • Be in a physical and mental condition that would not...
FAA Announces Final Small UAS Rule

FAA Announces Final Small UAS Rule

Photo Credit: FAA These Special Rules for Model Aircraft helps to maintain our exemptions for model aircraft. For more on the FAA’s final small UAS rule, we encourage you to read this USA Today story, “FAA completes landmark rules for commercial drones,” which includes a mention of AMA’s analysis of UAS sightings released earlier this month....