FAA proposes new laws for unmanned aircraft systems

The FAA has proposed new regulations for unmanned aircraft systems.
The FAA has proposed new regulations for unmanned aircraft systems.

The Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposed a framework this week for new legislation that would regulate the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

The DOT and the FAA have come up with new safety rules that would limit UAS flights to daylight and visual-line-of-sight operations, as well as introduce height restrictions, operator certification, the use of visual observers and aircraft registration.

In addition, the proposal includes the possibility of an additional, more flexible framework for UAS under 4.4 pounds, but the FAA is asking for the public’s input on what size should be included in the final ruling. The agency is also looking at how it can leverage the UAS test-site program to spark innovation in that area.

The FAA will be accepting comments for 60 days from the date the proposal is published in the Federal Register. Interested parties can visit www.regulations.gov to find out how to participate. The FAA intends to hold a series of public meetings to discuss these opportunities, and the meetings will be announced in a future Federal Register notice.

“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,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said.

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