New Federal Rules Would Let Drones Fly at Night and Over Crowds

by | Jan 16, 2019 | Current News, Drones

Image credit Pixabay

Cross-posted from Ars Technica
[by Timothy B. Lee]

The Federal Aviation Administration proposed Monday to relax rules governing commercial drone operations. Since 2016, the FAA has allowed the commercial operation of unmanned aerial vehicles weighing less than 55 pounds under certain limited circumstances. New rules proposed this week would relax two of the restrictions in the 2016 rules: drones will now be allowed to operate at night, and they’ll be able to operate over people.

The agency already allows some nighttime flights, but only on a case-by-case basis. The agency says that since 2016, it has received thousands of requests for waivers for nighttime operations and granted 1,233 of those requests. The FAA says that it hasn’t had any reports of accidents due to these nighttime operations. So the new FAA proposal would allow people to operate drones at night without special permission from the agency—provided the operator gets extra training and that the drone has lights that are visible from three miles away.

Read more

Categories