The FAA Releases Groundbreaking Rules for Commercial Drones

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently released rules regulating the use of commercial drones to ensure the flying robot can safely share the skies with commercial aircraft.

FAA Guidelines for Commercial Drones:

–Operators must be at least 16 years old

–Operators must pass an aeronautics test every 24 months for a certificate and a background check by the Transportation Security Administration

–Commercial drones must weigh less than 55 pounds

–Commercial drones must fly lower than 400 feet during daylight hours and be within sight of the operator or an observer who is in communication with the operator

–Aircrafts must carry lights visible for 3 miles on evening operations

–Night-time flights, flights beyond what the operator can see or flights over people not associated with the operation could be approved by waiver

The FAA is working cooperatively with the drone manufacturing industry and aims to provide a balance between innovation and safety. The rules prove the FAA recognizes the value of drones in useful areas such as search and rescue, construction surveys, agriculture monitoring, etc., and marks their first step towards a greator plan to create organized and safe activity in the sky.

Sarah Kreps, a government professor at Cornell University, expresses concern in the FAA’s ability to regulate these rules. “Given the growing prevalence of drones, it is hard to see how the Federal Aviation Administration actually can ensure that these rules are followed,” she said quoted in USA Today. A valid question considering an estimated 700,000 to 1 million drones were sold during the 2015 holiday season, according to trade groups. With the growing number of drones the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International predicts 70,000 jobs and $13.6 billion dollars of economic impact will come in the next three years of drone flight.

Driverless (or autonomous) vehicles such as commercial drones are leading-edge technologies that are disrupting traditional supply chains and creating more-efficient, next-generation models.  ProMat 2017, the industry’s premier trade show event, is adding a new solution center dedicated to innovation in Autonomous Vehicle technology.  This center is where buyers can see, touch and operate these solutions including automated storage and retrieval systems, automatic guided vehicle systems, driverless trucks, delivery drones, automated crane technologies. Find out more by visiting ProMatShow.com