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  • drone rules

    read em and weep guys 17 is the magic number---------------dave pilots will have to pass a written test at an aviation training center.

    FAA finally issues its small drone rule

    Drones can begin flying low over the American skyscape by 2017 under rules proposed Sunday by the Obama administration that will finally allow their legal use for business purposes.

    The rules, which still need to go through a public comment phase, apply to smaller drones weighing 55 pounds or less. Such small flyers aren’t likely to share airspace with manned flights.

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    “We have tried to be flexible in writing these rules,” Michael Huerta, administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, said in a statement. “We want to maintain today’s outstanding level of aviation safety without placing an undue regulatory burden on an emerging industry.” On a conference call with reporters, Huerta bragged the FAA had created “the most flexible regime for unmanned aircraft 55 pounds or less that exists anywhere in the world.”

    The proposal is largely favorable to the thousands of businesses who want to use drones for photography, agriculture or inspection purposes. While there was discussion of requiring licensed drone pilots to have time flying in a manned aircraft — a potentially expensive proposition — pilots will instead have to pass a written test at an aviation training center. The FAA rejected the idea of offering the tests online, as is done in some other countries.

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    Full coverage of transportation policy

    The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International applauded the FAA for issuing the long-delayed rule, while remaining cautious about its impact.

    “This proposed rule is a critical milestone in the UAS integration process, and one that is long overdue,” AUVSI President Brian Wynne said. “UAS technology has largely remained grounded while many prospective users wait for the regulatory framework to catch up. This is a good first step in an evolutionary process that brings us closer to realizing the many societal and economic benefits of UAS technology.”

    In a phone interview, Wynne said he remained worried about what exactly the FAA’s testing would involve, including what the ground school would actually test and where the test would be available.

    “Those are things they’re still trying to work through,” Wynne said.

    Huerta said the agency was still crafting its final ideas for administering the test: “We want to find that balance between requiring that base level of knowledge and making it broadly available,” he said.

    The Air Line Pilots Association, the largest union for commercial airline pilots, struck a decidedly measured tone, saying — in essence — that while it is pleased that the rule has been issued, the union will evaluate it against past recommendations from groups of stakeholders that have looked at the issue.

    But a number of the proposals would block the drone-delivery dreams of tech giants Amazon and Google, both of which are developing delivery programs. The small drones won’t be able to fly above 500 feet and will have to remain in the operator’s line of sight. Nighttime flights would be banned, and drones still won’t be allowed to carry external weight. Operators also won’t be allowed to fly drones above people not involved in the flight.

    On a conference call with reporters, Huerta made clear more permissive rules could arrive in the future.

    “What this represents is another step in a long process,” he said. “This is not the final on the full scope of UAS operations.”

    Still, Amazon called for the FAA to hurry its work.

    “The FAA needs to begin and expeditiously complete the formal process to address the needs of our business, and ultimately our customers,” Paul Misener, the online shopping giant’s vice president for global public policy, said in a statement. “We are committed to realizing our vision for Prime Air and are prepared to deploy where we have the regulatory support we need.”?

    Huerta told reporters the FAA was continuing to research the autonomous and beyond-line-of-sight operations a project like Amazon Prime Air would require, but remained concerned about such drones colliding with other objects.

    “We recognize that beyond visual line-of-sight is something there’s a lot of interest in,” he said. “The whole question of sense-and-avoid is a very sensitive area.”

    In another win for the industry, small drones won’t need airworthiness certificates required of planes. The certificates can take three to five years to earn, a timeline the FAA admits couldn’t keep up with the pace of innovation in the industry. But drones will be required to have an identifying number displayed prominently on the body. On planes, this “N number” helps the public quickly identify the plane’s owner and will aid with accountability for drones.

    Also Sunday, the White House issued a presidential memorandum on drone privacy. The memo requires federal agencies to harmonize their policies and procedures to be consistent with the memo’s limits on data collection and use, retention and dissemination of information collected by drones.

    It would ensure that agencies prohibit data from being used “in any manner that would violate the First Amendment or in any manner that would discriminate against persons based upon their ethnicity, race, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity, in violation of law.”

    The memo also includes requirements on oversight and transparency, as well as periodic review of those policies. It directs the Commerce Department and National Telecommunications and Information Administration to create a “a framework for privacy, accountability, and transparency issues concerning the commercial and private use of UAS” within 90 days. POLITICO first reported that element of the order in July.

    In a statement, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said the order was insufficient and that he would reintroduce legislation requiring stronger privacy rules.

    “It stops short of ensuring that the strongest safeguards are in place to protect privacy and promote transparency,” Markey said. “The FAA order merely directs NTIA to come up with a voluntary framework for privacy for commercial drone use. We need strong, enforceable rules for both commercial and government activities that require transparency about the collection, use, and retention of data collected by drones before they take flight.”

    Other Hill reaction was more positive. The leading Democrats on the aviation subcommittees in both the House and Senate, as well as the chairman of the subcommittee in the House, released statements praising the FAA’s work.

    “This technology holds tremendous promise for many commercial applications in the areas of science, safety, and security, including everything from aerial surveying to precision agriculture,” Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) said. “I look forward to working with the FAA and my colleagues to develop a framework that balances economic potential with protecting privacy and the safety of our national airspace system.”

    “These draft rules are an important step toward safely incorporating new technology into our sophisticated and crowded airspace,” Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) echoed. “We have heard a number of concerns that the FAA moved too slowly on these rules. Given the magnitude of the safety implications, we must give the FAA credit for proceeding with caution.”

    The FAA missed a Dec. 31 deadline to propose the rules and is likely to miss a September deadline to finalize them. The General Accountability Office said at a congressional hearing last year it expects a rule to be finalized in 2017. Huerta and Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx wouldn’t commit to any timeline and indicated they expected a barrage of comments on the issue during the coming 60-day period.

    Wynne urged them to work as quickly as possible: “Speed is very much of the essence here. Good start, but how quickly can we get to a final rule?”

    Many drone advocates seemed relieved by the proposal, which many worried would be overly restrictive and essentially continue the existing ban on commercial use.

    “I am very pleased to see a much more reasonable approach to future regulation than many feared,” Brendan Schulman, a lawyer at KramerLevin in New York who has repeatedly sued the FAA over its drone rules, wrote in an email. “I think this is in part the result of legal challenges and rules proposals that have triggered a year-long very public discussion calling for a less restrictive framework for the use of this great new technology.”

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    Last edited by davidm479; 02-15-2015, 08:13 PM.

  • #2
    Dang it 479, I keep looking for a #17, then it just jumps out as 2017....but as long as it is NOT commercial, can even be for recreation, or hobby, and "some"
    special actions by the FAA can get a few around some of the's. There was a report on Fox "news" after lunch today that some of the
    companies wanting to use drones for delivery etc are going to move out of the U.S. and into Canada to get around the slow movement of the agency.
    I have found another recreational use....the turkeys really don't like the noise and head for cover....I'm thinking someone in a deer blind with the guide
    getting $1000.00/ deer taken might get unruly if a drone just happens to make a flight, over the owners land, but it is close to the blind...hehehe....100
    yards and I'm betting the deer hunter can't take it out of the sky with a riffle or bow. Might be like ski jets, motorcycles, ATVs


    • #3
      Crash a few drones into peoples house, buildings, or the person, then throw in a few privacy/personal data violation law suits and insurance companies will soon be writing the drone regulations.


      • #4 0000209404&YM_MID=2547

        just headlines this morning....and a couple videos within..