New Proposed FAA Drone Rules Allow Drone Flights at Night and Over Crowds

Daphne Planca
3:43 PM

Unmanned drones for delivery are slowly becoming into reality. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) surprisingly made an announcement about a new set of rules for drones that would allow civilian drones to fly over populated areas and end the need for permits for night flights.

According to Slash Gear, US Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao just announced the proposed rule changes. To those who are not aware, she also revealed a pilot project on the safe integration of UAVs into the overall airspace system.

The change of the drone rules would open the door for operating drones in these situations under specific conditions without first seeking explicit permission from the FAA. This means that the restrictions will not be completely eliminated.

Regarding flying over people, the unmanned drone should weigh less than 0.55 pounds without restrictions. If your drone weighs more than that, you must secure a proof from the manufacturer that the drone will not cause severe injuries if ever it will malfunction and crash into a person. If your large drone has exposed rotating parts or has any known safety defects, it won’t be allowed to fly overhead.

Under the rules, drone operators would no longer need to get permits or waivers to operate at night. Only drones flying after twilight should have permits to have an anti-collision twilight, making it visible for at least three miles.

Before drone pilots or small drone operators are cleared to fly the drones at night, they must undergo knowledge testing and training and present a remote pilot in command certificate when requested by certain local, state, and federal officials. The training in sUAS operations is required every 24 months.

This new project is called The Unmanned Systems Traffic Management System Pilot Project. It will run through September 2019. It was developed as a research project by NASA and jointly operated with that agency and the FAA. It will be used primarily to gather information that will help set future rules. It will focus on flight planning, weather services, aircraft separation, and communications.

So, what do you think about the new changes for drones from FAA? Share your reactions by writing in the comment section below.

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About Daphne Planca
Daphne is a freelance journalist, writer, and copy editor with more than 4 years of experience. She also teaches English as a Second Language for students in various age ranges globally.Email Daphne-
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