The final rule encompasses much of what was contained in the proposed rule, and NAR is pleased with the overall outcome. The rule will lead to more predictability in the market for drone-based services and will create a broader base of trained operators and service providers. Specifically, the new rule:
- Education Provision: New certification for ‘remote pilot in command’ authority which is less burdensome than a pilot’s license. The test is administered at the FAA testing centers and is knowledge-based only. The cost is about $150, and will take about 20 hours of study time to prepare for. The test itself is 3 hours long. Operators will still need to pass a background check performed by the TSA.
Flight Operations Permitted: Flights may be conducted during daylight hours, within visual line of sight, not directly over non-participants, altitude limit 400’, and 100 MPH max speed.
- Provisions for flight over non-participants will be addressed in the next rulemaking, microUAS, which was the subject of the March 2016 Aviation rulemaking committee.
- Daylight-only operations, or civil twilight (30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset, local time) with appropriate anti-collision lighting.
- Many of the operational requirements can be waived, which leaves room for innovation and experimentation with the technology.
- No provisions for notice to bystanders. This could present problems for operations in more dense areas, but REALTORS® can work with UAS service provider to find a solution.
- Rule will go into effect in August 2016.