The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) came up with legal regulations for the operation of commercial Unmanned Aircraft systems or drones in the United States. It is the responsibility of the drone operators to understand and abide by the regulations set in the United States. The provisions of the rule, also referred to as Part 107, aim at minimizing risk to other aircraft, property and people on the ground. Here is a summary of what you need to know
Unmanned aerial vehicles should weigh less than 25kg
The unmanned aircraft system must be within the Visual line of sight of the remote pilot
Must yield right of way to manned aircraft
A maximum ground speed of 100mph or 87 knots
You can operate the drone with a minimum weather visibility of 3 miles from control station
Should operate during the day only
No operations from a moving aircraft
The drone should not fly higher than 400 feet above the ground
You need an ATC permission to operate the unmanned vehicle in Class B, C, D and E airspace. However, you can operate without an ATC permission in Class G (Uncontrolled) airspace.
There is need for a preflight inspection by the pilot in command
Remote Pilot in Command Certification and Responsibilities
To operate an unmanned aerial vehicle you need to be in possession of a remote pilot airman certificate. The person should have some small rating or be under supervision of a holder of a remote pilot certificate.
To qualify for a remote pilot certificate one should:
- Be 16 years and above
- Go through the Transport Security Administration vetting
- Pass an aeronautical knowledge test in a recognized FAA testing center
- Hold a part 61 pilot certificate other than the student pilot certificate and complete a UAS online course offered by FAA
It is not necessary to have the FAA airworthiness certification. However, it is a must for the remote pilot to conduct a preflight inspection to ensure that the drone is safe for operation.
The regulations set up by the FAA do not cover delivery operation drones developed by google and amazon as well as traditional model airplanes. the rules shall only get to guide simple drone tasks including site inspections, real estate photography and surveying.
You can visit the Federal Aviation Administration website for detailed information regarding the operation of unmanned aircraft systems.