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Drone Wrangling: FAA rules regulating robots in the wild blue are in effect!

Drones have cruised their way into our everyday lives. Real estate, law enforcement, photographers, and hobbyists have all found the unmanned aerial vehicles to be useful and interesting. However, some have found drones to be a bit of a nuisance: airport control operators in particular. In June, the FAA issued a set of rules for regulation of small unmanned aircraft systems (drones) and their operation/flight. These rules became effective on August 29, 2016.

The complete set of rules is available from the FAA on their website.

Want something a bit more accessible? The FAA has prepared a summary of the rules on this website.

The rules are somewhat intuitive, focusing on aerial safety and privacy. Weight, speed, altitude, and visibility limits are all provided. The rules also impose Remote Pilot in Command Certification and Responsibilities. This includes requirements for a remote pilot certificate for operation of drones. Also of interest? The rules provide a drone may carry cargo, so long as the aircraft, systems, payload, and cargo weigh less than 55 pounds total. But drone flight must still be operated in line-of-sight, so doorstep delivery from that awesome sushi restaurant 100 miles away is probably still the stuff of fantasy.

For hobbyists, all of these rules may seem like overkill and major rain on your sunny-day cruising. The FAA has “fly for fun” rules that don’t require a remote pilot certificate. A summary website of these rules can be read here.

But don’t launch that drone just yet! Part of these rules include the requirement that drones over .55 pounds be registered and labeled with the registration number. Not sure if you need to register? The FAA has a handy fact sheet here with example drone models and registration requirements.

Happy flying!

DISCLAIMERThe information provided is for general informational purposes only. This post is not updated to account for changes in the law and should not be considered tax or legal advice. This article is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult with legal and/or financial advisors for legal and tax advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided is for general informational purposes only. This post is not updated to account for changes in the law and should not be considered tax or legal advice. This article is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult with legal and/or financial advisors for legal and tax advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

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