Drones Education safety Technology

Drone Ops Over People and Night Flights

image of Drone Ops Over People and Night Flights
Drone Ops Over People and Night Flights

In December 2020, the FAA published the new Remote ID rule, with compliance required by Sept. 17, 2023. As we’ve mentioned, the broadcast-only solution adopted in the rule is a missed opportunity to enable Universal Traffic Management (UTM) and complex operations. We continue to engage with the FAA and other government agencies to understand their concerns related to drone ops and how the rule can be improved to protect privacy and increase airspace safety.

From an article by Dave Lincoln, Manager, UAS Strategic Initiatives at Skyward.

At the same time, the FAA also issued rules allowing Operations Over People and Night Flights. Their provisions will provide more near-term benefit to our customers’ drone operations.

Drone Operations Over People
Under the new rules, drone pilots will now be required to carry and show both their FAA certificate and a government-issued photo ID to agents from FAA, TSA, NTSB, or any law enforcement agency upon request. The rules also modify some of the knowledge areas on the Part 107 remote pilot exam and scrapped two-year recurrent testing in favor of online FAA training every other year (following the still-required initial in-person test).

Theoretically, the FAA allows operations over people and moving vehicles as of the rule effective date — March 16, 2021. In reality, it will take longer than that for compliant drones to be widely available. The regulation identifies four categories of allowable operations over people — three of which were in the draft rule and a fourth that was added in response to comments.

  • Category 1 Drones
    Lowest barrier to entry
    Likely the only path for drone flight over people in the immediate future (i.e., first half of 2021, at least).
    A few drones with 4K video capability meet this category. Skyward would be happy to help you identify the right drone and concept of operations for your needs.

Drone requirements for Category 1

  • Weight limit of 0.55 lb (250 g) or less
    Does not contain exposed rotating parts that could lacerate human skin upon impact
    Operations “in sustained flight over open-air assemblies of human beings” must voluntarily comply with the Remote ID regulation.
    The operator may self-certify that a drone meets Category 1 requirements.

For the complete article on drone ops CLICK HERE.

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