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The FAA wants you to have a pilot's license to fly commercial drones

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
November 24, 2014
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If you're planning to shoot your next movie using a drone, beware: you may need to meet some stringent conditions to stay in the Federal Aviation Administration's good books. Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that the agency will propose commercial drone rules that require a conventional pilot's license. Yes, you may need to have flown manned aircraft for dozens of hours to even think of controlling a UAV for cash. You'd also have to fly only during daylight, stay under 400 feet and remain within sight of your craft, so any hopes of high-altitude night shots would go out the window. And these rules would apply to any drone weighing 55 pounds or less; small, easy-to-fly vehicles like 3D Robotics' Iris+ and DJI's Inspire 1 would be subject to the same demands as larger, more complex models.

Whatever you think of these requirements, you'll have a chance to offer some feedback. The FAA is expected to make its proposal before the end of the year, and there will be a public comment phase where your input (hopefully) influences the final rule set. It may take up to two years to hash things out, so these terms definitely aren't set in stone.

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