The FAA has just announced two new rules that will significantly affect what you can (and can’t) do with with your drone, and the drone you currently own likely won’t be able to fly anymore once these take effect.
From the official FAA press release on Remote ID and Operations Over People and at Night:
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced final rules for Unmanned Aircraft (UA), commonly known as drones. The new rules will require Remote Identification (Remote ID) of drones and allow operators of small drones to fly over people and at night under certain conditions. These rules come at a time when drones represent the fastest-growing segment in the entire transportation sector – with currently over 1.7 million drone registrations and 203,000 FAA-certificated remote pilots.
Remote ID will help mitigate risks associated with expanded drone operations, such as flights over people and at night, and both rules support technological and operational innovation and advancements.
“These final rules carefully address safety, security and privacy concerns while advancing opportunities for innovation and utilization of drone technology,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.
Remote ID (PDF) is a major step toward the full integration of drones into the national airspace system. Remote ID provides identification of drones in flight as well as the location of their control stations, providing crucial information to our national security agencies and law enforcement partners, and other officials charged with ensuring public safety. Airspace awareness reduces the risk of drone interference with other aircraft and people and property on the ground.
Equipping drones with Remote ID technology builds on previous steps taken by the FAA and the drone industry to integrate operations safely into the national airspace system. Part 107 of the federal aviation regulations currently prohibits covered drone operations over people and at night unless the operator obtains a waiver from the FAA. The new FAA regulations jointly provide increased flexibility to conduct certain small UAS without obtaining waiver.