FAA Stories May 20

Last Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued new rules for hobbyist drone pilots in an effort to keep the national airspace safe and available for both manned and unmanned aircraft. Hobbyist or recreational drone pilots are no longer exempt under Section 336 and are now required to follow these new FAA rules and regulations. Unfortunately, for the time being, this means that hobbyist or recreational drone pilots are no longer able to fly in controlled airspace at all, with the exception of these designated areas.

Later this summer, when the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) system will be made available to hobbyist drone pilots, they will be required to obtain approval for their flights in controlled airspace through the LAANC system. If this sounds to you like the FAA is putting the horse behind the wagon, then I would agree. However, this is the situation that we are dealing with for now. Keep in mind it will only be temporary until the FAA makes LAANC available to all pilots.

However, this is not all. The FAA will also require all hobbyist drone pilots to take an electronic aeronautical knowledge and safety test. And, you will be required to show proof of you successfully passing the exam to any FAA official or police officer upon request.

Keep reading for all the details of these new rules and what it means to you. If you prefer to watch a 12-minute video instead of reading, I suggest you watch the one below from 51drones.

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FAA Stories May 17

The FAA dealt a serious blow to hobby drone pilots when they released these new rules that restrict them from flying in controlled airspace over many American cities. Hobby drone pilots were allowed to fly in controlled airspace with a notification to air traffic control, or by flying at an AMA Field.

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Are you looking for a real estate drone? Aerial real estate photography is becoming more popular all the time. In some markets, it is almost a requirement that a listing has photographs, and often video, taken from the air. Professional pilots today can earn fees starting at $200 for a 30-minute job. So what is the best drone for the job? And what do you need to know before you fly? We are here to help. expand full story

FAA Stories April 23

Google’s Wing Aviation receives the first FAA approval for a drone delivery service in the US. We already reported on this two weeks ago, saying that it would likely be Wing Aviation that would receive the first approval for a delivery service by drone. Today, the commercial drone operator received important government approval to operate as an airline, which gives it the legal authority to deliver products by drone to real customers. The company plans to start routine deliveries by drone in two rural communities in Virginia within the next few months.

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FAA Stories April 15

DJI urges drone pilots, operators, and drone fleet managers in the United States to comment on the proposed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules.

Before the proposed FAA rules come into effect there is a timeframe in which you can submit your comments. As of now, fewer than 100 comments have been received about flight at night and over people. The FAA actually pays attention to your input and takes it into consideration when making the final rules.

You can submit your comments on:

  1. proposed new rules to allow professionals to routinely fly drones at night and over people
  2. how to safely prepare for Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM), implement payload restrictions and enable flight beyond visual line of sight.

So, please take a minute or two and check out these links below and submit your comments for the FAA to consider. The deadline is Monday, April 15th. You can read DJI’s official statement below.

Update 1: when we wrote this article, only 84 comments had been submitted to the FAA. Now a few days later the counter sits at 306 comments. That is great news! DJI’s message has spread to a number of other websites as well and that obviously helped to reach a larger number of drone pilots. It is good to see such an immediate response coming out of our community. Keep in mind we still have four more days to go, so please keep submitting your comments to the FAA. the original article was posted on April 9th.

Update 2: Keep in mind the deadline is at the end of the 15th, meaning you can still submit your comments today! As of today, the comments counter stands at 647, which is quite an achievement, considering that we were only at 84 last week. Thanks to all of the media outlets pushing for comments over the last so many days, and to all the drone pilots and operators who submitted their feedback and comments to the FAA!

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FAA Stories April 12

Last night a drone illegally flew over Fenway Park during a Red Sox-Blue Jays game. According to Boston Police, the drone was first spotted around 9:30 pm and was last seen around 10:20 pm. The Red Sox said that they have reported the incident to the Police. Both the police and the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) are looking into the situation. Flying drones over crowds or over a packed stadium are against the FAA’s regulations. DJI issued a statement on the drone incident as well.

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