The FAA has released their much anticipated Part 107 rules on commercial UAV use.
The FAA released the long-anticipated Part 107 commercial drone regulations. Previously, to fly a drone legally, the FAA required commercial drone operators to file a petition under Section 333, which required the UAV operator to be a licensed pilot and often took months to process. Over 5,000 exemptions were granted and thousands more still wait for review, with our flagship drone Solo receiving the second highest number of exemptions. This signals that the demand for commercial use of drones is high and that drones offer real value to industries like construction, conservation and architecture. Solo comes in at under 2 kg (4.4 lbs), well below the 25 kg (55 lbs) limit for the new rule.
At a high level, the loosening of the restrictions required to fly
commercially shows that drones are now safer and easier to use than
ever before. The launch of 3DR’s Site Scan enterprise platform in March anticipated this democratization of access to aerial data capture and analytics, and now after passing a simple FAA knowledge test anyone can survey a construction site or measure a stockpile with the push of a few buttons in Site Scan.
To summarize the new regulations:
No exclusivity: The FAA is democratizing commercial drone use — no
need to be a licensed pilot any longer. Take the knowledge test at
a testing center and you’re good to go.
No overwhelming bureaucracy: Filing Section 333 exemption requests
is no longer necessary, and logging all flight data for the FAA is
No jackassery: Yield to manned aircraft; don’t fly while under the
influence; don’t fly over non-participants; keep under 400’ (although
this is waivable); maintain visual line of sight at all times; and
fly outside restricted areas (use Site Scan’s airspace safety map to
keep clear of restricted airspace).
That’s it. Take a test, follow the rules, and you can fly commercially
to provide safer, more efficient, real-time access to data. We think
the new certification process will be easier than getting a driver’s
license — no live flight test involved. The effective date of the new
regulations should be in August, but we’ll keep
you updated as the dates are finalized.