CONTINUEThis site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more.
  1. Front Page
  2. News By Topic
  3. US Regulators Ease Rules On Unmanned Aircraft

US Regulators Ease Rules On Unmanned Aircraft

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

25 February 2015


Regulators in the US have loosened restrictions on the use of certain small unmanned aircraft systems to support technological innovation.

The Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration on February 15 announced proposals for a new framework that will "allow routine use of certain small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in today's aviation system, while maintaining flexibility to accommodate future technological innovations."

The FAA announcement covers safety rules for the recreational use of small UAS, covering those weighing less than 55 pounds or 25 kilograms.

The rules would limit flights to daylight hours and visual-line-of-sight operations only. The regulations also cover flight height restrictions, operator certification, the optional use of a visual observer, aircraft registration and marking, and operational limits.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said: "Technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace and this milestone allows federal regulations and the use of our national airspace to evolve to safely accommodate innovation."

Although the FAA is currently proposing that the UAS should remain within the visual line of sight of the operator, or within the view of a "visual observer," the FAA is seeking feedback on whether its rules should permit operations beyond line of sight, and, if so, what the appropriate limitations should be.

The new guidelines prescribe that:

  • The operator should be at least 17 years old;
  • The operator must pass an aeronautical knowledge test, be vetted by the Transport Security Administration, and obtain an FAA UAS operator certificate; and
  • The operator must pass the FAA knowledge tests every 24 months.

A small-UAS operator would not need any further private pilot certifications (that is, a private pilot license or medical rating).

Other restrictions would apply to flights near people, the speed of flights, and flights within the proximity of airports. There are also UAS maintenance requirements.

"We have tried to be flexible in writing these rules," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. "We want to maintain today's outstanding level of aviation safety without placing an undue regulatory burden on an emerging industry."

There are also discussions ongoing about an additional framework for "micro" UASs that weigh less than 4.4 pounds. The FAA is seeking feedback on these proposals also.

TAGS: aviation

To see today's news, click here.

 















Tax-News Reviews

Cyprus Review

A review and forecast of Cyprus's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Cyprus Review »

Malta Review

A review and forecast of Malta's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Malta Review »

Jersey Review

A review and forecast of Jersey's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Jersey Review »

Budget Review

A review of the latest budget news and government financial statements from around the world.

Visit Budget Review »



Stay Updated

Please enter your email address to join the Tax-News.com mailing list. View previous newsletters.

By subscribing to our newsletter service, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.


To manage your mailing list preferences, please click here »