FAA released final version of Part 107 ruling for commercial drones

June 23, 2016
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From Bill McNeil's desk, our UAV Contributing Editor...

Yesterday the FAA released the final version of the Part 107 ruling for commercial small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (sUAV) operations.   https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsid=20515

Some of the key requirements of the ruling are listed below:

  • UAV operators must keep their drone within sight at all times.  If the operator is flying via FPV (First Person View) then there also needs be a visual observer 
  • Drone flights are only permitted during daylight or twilight hours
  • Maximum flight altitude is 400 feet above the ground and the maximum speed is 100 mph
  • Flights cannot pass over anyone who is not directly participating in the operation
  • Maximum sUAV allowable weight is less than 55 pounds.  This includes any payload (cameras or other devices) the drone may be caring.
  • The drone operator must be at least 16 years old and either have a remote pilot certificate or be supervised by someone with a certificate.

According to the FAA Press Release, "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."

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