New drone laws go into effect Monday; Drone innovations likely to take off

PHILADELPHIA, PA – With new drone laws setting in Monday, commercial businesses will soon be using drones like never before.

Drones will soon be used by even more firemen, farmers, search and rescue teams and almost anyone else who wishes to use the personal aircrafts to their benefit.

The FAA is amending its regulations to allow the operation of small unmanned aircraft systems in the National Airspace System.

These changes address the operation of unmanned aircraft systems and certification of their remote pilots. This rule will also prohibit model aircraft from endangering the safety of the National Airspace System.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, unmanned aircrafts must weigh less than 55 pounds; they must fly at a maximum of 400 feet in altitude at a speed of no more than 100 miles per hour; they can only be operated during daytime hours; and drone operators must also qualify for flying certificates and must be at least 16-years-old.

For a summary of the new laws and more in-depth responsibilities, click here.

One very important step you have to take is to obtain your remote pilot certificate. Under the new rule—also known as Part 107—the person actually flying a drone must have a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating, or be directly supervised by someone with such a certificate.

To qualify for the certificate, you must either pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center or have an existing non-student Part 61 pilot certificate. If you are qualifying under the latter provision, you must have completed a flight review in the previous 24 months and must take an FAA UAS online training course. The Transportation Security Administration will conduct a security background check of all remote pilot applications prior to issuance of a certificate.

The FAA has posted extensive materials, including a test guide and sample questions, to help you prepare for the knowledge test. You can review the materials by clicking on the “Knowledge Test Prep Part 107” button at www.faa.gov/uas.