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FAA Preparing to Launch New Rules about Flying Over People

BY Alan Perlman
29 November 2016

faa-logoThe Hill recently reported that the Federal Aviation Administration is preparing the launch of a new set of drone regulations concerning UAV flight over people.

As you probably know, back in June the FAA issued a requirement for drone operators to pass an Aeronautical Knowledge Test, to register their drones with the FAA, to not fly at night, and to maintain a direct line of sight with the drones they fly (among many other operating limitations under the new Part 107 rules). Since then, drone operators have been hustling to be in compliance.

The new FAA rules under discussion concern situations in which UAVs fly over people who are not inside cars or buildings. This practice is currently prohibited, but it is anticipated that exceptions will be proposed in the new rules.

The FAA recently sent a proposal of the new rules to the White House. This quote from the abstract for the proposed new rules about flight over people provides a little more clarity around what these rules might look like:

This rulemaking would address the performance-based standards and means-of-compliance for operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) over people not directly participating in the operation or not under a covered structure or inside a stationary vehicle that can provide reasonable protection from a falling small unmanned aircraft. This rulemaking would provide relief from certain operational restrictions implemented in the Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems final rule (hereinafter the sUAS Operation and Certification rule).

Want to learn more about drone laws? Check out our drone law guide here.

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