Latest in Departmentoftransportation

Image credit:

Proposed commercial drone rules would ban robotic couriers

41 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

If you were worried that the Federal Aviation Administration would require a pilot's license before you could fly a drone for professional reasons, you can relax... well, sort of. The FAA has published its proposed commercial drone rules, and they're a bit more lenient than some had feared. The good news? You wouldn't need a license to fly any drone under 55 pounds; instead, you'd take an "aeronautical knowledge" (read: airspace rules) test every two years and get an operator certificate. And if you're flying model airplanes that fit existing criteria, you'd only be bound by current laws.

Unfortunately, the other rules are still pretty onerous to companies whose businesses might revolve around unmanned aircraft. You'd have to maintain a line of sight to your drone at all times, for one thing -- robotic courier services like Amazon's PrimeAir are impossible under the proposal. You'd also have to fly in daylight, stay under 500 feet and travel no faster than 100MPH. The rules are open to public comments over the next 60 days and certainly aren't set in stone yet, but it's pretty clear that the FAA is more concerned with air traffic safety than flexibility. If these rules come into effect as they are, commercial drones would largely be limited to short-distance tasks like news gathering and monitoring farms.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
41 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

View
iPad Pro leak suggests tablet photography just won’t die

iPad Pro leak suggests tablet photography just won’t die

View
Apple's latest AirPods and wireless charging case are $30 off on Amazon

Apple's latest AirPods and wireless charging case are $30 off on Amazon

View
Google Fi now offers an unlimited plan

Google Fi now offers an unlimited plan

View
Get a glimpse of SpaceX's orbital Starship prototype under construction

Get a glimpse of SpaceX's orbital Starship prototype under construction

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr