FAIRFAX (CBSLA.com) — The Federal Aviation Administration has revealed new proposals for regulations supporting the commercial use of small drones.
The drastic increase in popularity of the use of small UAVs has taken place not just in Southern California, but nationwide. However, the lack of rules and regulations has resulted in a degree of aerial chaos, with aircraft finding their way into airport airspace and around people on the ground.
The FAA’s new rules address these issues, and change the legality of operating a drone commercially without special exemption.
Under the proposed regulations, drones would have be flown within sight of the operator, and will be required to avoid hazards such as airports. Additionally, the drones will be required to fly below 500 feet.
Potential operators of commercial drones will have to be at least 17 years old and must pass a federal exam.
Keith Kaplan, who runs the nation’s largest commercial drone association, and took part in drone regulation discussions with administration officials at the White House last year, agrees wholeheartedly with the regulations.
“These types of systems are vital for us to have, that there are safe operations of aircraft,” Kaplan said. “This rule-making is very important because it sets standards, just like with a manned aircraft, where you follow certain procedures to that you eliminate human error.”
Kaplan says that it could be three-to-five years before these regulations become law.