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  • FAA's Proposed Rules Restrict Usage of Private Drones

    The US Federal Aviation Administration recently proposed a set of rules that restrict the use of drones in the sky. The rules now place new qualifications on enthusiasts and also seem to set back Amazon’s airborne delivery plans. The rules published this week by the FAA continue to remain under consideration but they would prevent an unmanned aircraft from being flown outside of visual line-of-sight. The rules also ban the piloting of drones such as the Parrot AR and DJI Phantom over people below who aren’t directly involved in the operation.

    The proposal continues by stating that drone pilots would need to be at least 17 years old and would need to pass an aeronautics test to receive a license. Under the requirements would also be the need to be vetted by the Transportation Security Administration. The FAA’s proposed rule set would also restrict drone flight to the daytime and vehicles may not weigh more than 55 pounds or fly more than 100 miles per hour. The maximum altitude of an in-flight drone would be 500 feet above ground level and using the first-person live camera views doesn’t satisfy the line of sight requirement.

    If the rules are passed, not only would enthusiasts be restricted but Amazon could also face major roadblocks with its proposed drone delivery service. For those of you who didn’t know about it, the Amazon Prime Air concept was unveiled in late 2013, showing unmanned drones delivering products quickly directly to a person’s front door. The plan was met with skepticism about the safety and reliability of allowing automated unmanned aerial vehicles in the sky. Specifically, Amazon’s pilot program showcased drones being flown out of human line of sight over real estate and people on the ground below, both of which would violate the FAA’s proposed new rules.

    As of right now, Amazon continues to remain committed to its Prime Air vision. The company even ended up issuing a statement to Time saying that it’s “prepared to deploy” where it has regulatory support. The FAA’s proposal includes the possibility for more flexible “micro” drones under 4.4 pounds. This would provide some flexibility for enthusiasts by giving them options such as the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0, which weighs less than a pound with its indoor hull or the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ weighing in at 2.7 pounds.

    We’ll have to see how things pan out but as of right now, they aren’t looking so good for Amazon’s Prime Air plan or for any enthusiast.

    Source: FAA (PDF) via Time
    This article was originally published in forum thread: FAA's Proposed Rules Restrict Usage of Private Drones started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. luvmytj's Avatar
      luvmytj -
      All because there are people with more money than brains. When I was home building these there was no issues. DJI mass produces it, making it affordable and easy so now every fool can own and fly one however irresponsibly as they want. Sad.
    1. StuG III's Avatar
      StuG III -
      Some serious restrictions.
    1. King_O_Hill's Avatar
      King_O_Hill -
      These will be extremely difficult to enforce.

      Good luck FAA
    1. hitman10's Avatar
      hitman10 -
      So dumb. But hey i think ppl should need license to have kids, wheres that law.