FAA Releases New Drone Rules

Allen Clements

Allen Clements

June 21, 2016

New rules for small drone flight (under 55 pounds) were published today and set to go into effect in late August.

In general, the increased use of drones for video and recreational purposes has created a lot of grey areas that used to be under the jurisdiction of the FAA for strictly commercial purposes.  The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has been debating and creating the structure around which small drones can be used in U.S. airspace.  This is of significance to filmmakers and drone enthusiasts like us.

What you should know

Here are some of the most important and anticipated parts of the new FAA rules:

  • Pilots must remain within visual line of sight of the drone
  • Commercial units can only operate during daylight hours
  • Drones cannot operate over people who aren’t directly participating in the operation
  • Maximum altitude of 400 feet above ground (you can operate around a structure that is higher than 400 feet as long as you stay within 400 feet of the structure)
  • Operators cannot control drones from a moving vehicle except in certain situations.
  • As of September 2016, commercial pilots must obtain and carry a remote pilot certificate or be under the supervision of someone with a certificate.

Get the full official regulations here.

Additional information

Here are some links to other Pennsylvania-specific drone legislation: