The FAA has released the final draft on the “part 107” rule set for drones and unattended aircraft.
The important part for most drone racers / enthusiasts is this:
Part 107 will not apply to model aircraft. Model aircraft operators must continue to satisfy all the criteria specified in Section 336 of Public Law 112-95 (PDF) (which will now be codified in Part 101), including the stipulation they be operated only for hobby or recreational purposes.
The included Section part 336 there is important, as that is what the AMA and other model aircraft enthusiasts settled in as ‘established law’ regarding remote control aircraft. This ruling, at least by our reading, seems to set things back where they were before the discussions started up again, which is good news.
As the USDRA predicted a few weeks ago, the FAA has announced the final details and launch date for online Drone Registration. The details are about as expected; using an online registration system a pilot will receive an identification number that must be visible on the craft. The registration number can be used on any number of hobbyist-built/owned craft owned by a single pilot. These rules are required for anything over 250 grams, which covers most racing quads.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced a streamlined and user-friendly web-based aircraft registration process for owners of small unmanned aircraft (UAS) weighing more than 0.55 pounds (250 grams) and less than 55 pounds (approx. 25 kilograms) including payloads such as on-board cameras.
The site isn’t active yet – it will go live on December 21st. For the first 30 days, registration will be free. After that, it will be $5. Registrations are valid for 3 years.
The task force making recommendations regarding Drone Registration have published a paper outlining their findings.
The USDRA, while not on the advisory panel, did submit a paper to the panel recommending a very easy, self serve registration process, and it looks like the task force has come through with a well thought out, balanced set of guidelines for the FAA to use when implementing the process.
Some brief notes – again, these are recommendations, not ‘rules’. They have not been adopted into law yet…
Drones less than 250g are exempt
Registration is immediate and free. An online form with a name and an address will get you a registration number, which you can apply to your sUAS and go flying immediately.
Registrants must be at least 13 years old
A serial number is not required, so home built craft may be registered, as long as the registration number is easily visible on the craft.
The FAA has opened up it’s comment period on the new proposal for registering UAV’s. Under the tongue-bending title “Clarification of the Applicability of Aircraft Registration Requirements for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and Request for Information Regarding Electronic Registration for UAS”, the site is now looking for comments and feedback on the proposal. If you have an opinion on this topic, now is the time to voice it!
WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and FAA Administrator Michael Huerta today announced the creation of a task force to develop recommendations for a registration process for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).
The USDRA is supportive of this process, and believes the FAA is acting in the best interest of the public. We have reached out to the FAA requesting that we have input into the decision process, so that the racing community will not be adversely affected by any new rules that are forthcoming.
The California House of Representatives has just voted to amend the Civil Code to make it illegal to fly “Unmanned Aircraft” over private property to an altitude of 350′ without permission of the owner:
(a) A person wrongfully occupies real property and is liable for damages pursuant to Section 3334 if, without express permission of the person or entity with the legal authority to grant access or without legal authority, he or she operates an unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system less than 350 feet above ground level within the airspace overlaying the real property.
As of this writing, the bill has passed to the senate after passing in the house. It is not yet law.
It’s unsurprising this sort of legislation is coming through the pipeline, in the wake of certain incidents involving shotguns. This particular legislation is aiming to clarify the ambiguity regarding “Below 400′ AGL” airspace. The FAA provides guidelines to safe operation, but are unclear on how low an operator can legally fly…
Fly below 400 feet and remain clear of surrounding obstacles
Keep the aircraft within visual line of sight at all times
Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations
Don’t fly within 5 miles of an airport unless you contact the airport and control tower before flying
Don’t fly near people or stadiums
Don’t fly an aircraft that weighs more than 55 lbs
Don’t be careless or reckless with your unmanned aircraft – you could be fined for endangering people or other aircraft
Individuals who fly within the scope of these parameters do not require permission to operate their UAS; any flight outside these parameters (including any non-hobby, non-recreational operation) requires FAA authorization.