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Now all the Drone Operators are required to acquire a pilot license in order to use their commercial drones.
The FAA is going to impose certain rules on commercial drones. According to these rules, the drone operators are not only bound to have a pilot license, but the flights are also limited to daylight hours and below 400 feet. The drone has to be within the sight of the person who is controlling it.
After six years of waiting, the FAA has finally established commercial rules for drones. The drone industry was hoping that these rules will pave the way for prevalent drone use in various industries including construction, farming and film making. The current FAA policy encourages the recreational drone flights, but it discourages the commercial use of drones.
People who are familiar with the matter said that the FAA plans to open the skies for unmanned commercial flights, yet these rules regarding the commercial drones are very restrictive. The FAA is also planning to create a set of rules that will be applicable to all the drones weighing less than 55 pounds.
Thus, dashing all hopes even for the smallest drone i.e. the 2.8 pounds Phantom. The smallest drone has four rotor helicopters and is developed by China’s Sz DJI Technology Co. Devices of similar size have become popular over the last two years.
The pilot certification that is proposed by the FAA would typically require hours of flying practice. Though many drone proponents resisted this rule as they were not pro the idea of traditional pilot training.
According to the sources, FAA officials will announce these proposed rules by the end of this year. The proposal will start off with a public comment period, but it will take one or two years for the rules to get finalized.
During a conference, the FAA said that the company is trying to integrate unmanned aircraft into the most convoluted and busiest airspace system in the world. He then said that the FAA is also very concerned about the safety of the US people, both on the ground and in the air. In addition to this, he said that the FAA is going to take a staged approach towards the integration of unmanned aircraft and their users.
Currently, the White House Office of Management and Budget is looking into the proposal submitted by the FAA. The government is seeking comments from other agencies such as the Pentagone and the law enforcement agencies. There are chances that some changes might occur in the proposal or the release date is pushed forward due to the objections raised by other agencies.
According to the agencies, it is very important to be careful with the drone rules in order to avoid potential accidents with other aircrafts. These collisions will not only harm the people in the air, but also the structures present on the ground.
Many aircraft owners and Airline pilots have supported the FAA cautious approach. However, there are certain drone industry officials who envisaged that this proposal by FAA is going to get a loud backlash.