FAA Lifts Two Important Restrictions

Tired of drone restrictions? Then these recent rules changes might be for you.

Love them or hate them, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is in place to ensure the safety and viability of any operations in the sky. From Boeing 747s to a drone that can fit in your hand, if it flies, it most likely falls under the FAA’s jurisdiction.

But, just like with planes before them, overregulating drones has led to backlash in the commercial sector. After all, drone services make inspections, deliveries, and data gathering safer, smarter, and more efficient than ever before.

Those unique service abilities have translated to real market demands throughout the United States and abroad. With current regulations in place, Business Insider projects the drone service industry to grow to $63.6 billion by 2025

Nevertheless, the FAA is in place to balance safety with economic growth. They don’t make rule changes lightly, but they also don’t ignore new technology and techniques that innovate the aerial industry.

That’s why their newest rules changes are set to break the commercial drone industry wide open.

First and foremost, it is now legal for drones to fly over people.
Second, it is now legal for drones to fly commercial operations at night.

Previously, drone service providers needed exclusive FAA waivers to fly specific jobs over people or at night. The waiver process took time for the FAA to review, and pilots needed new waivers for each job, significantly bottlenecking the commercial viability for inspections on a larger scale.

Now, nighttime thermal facade inspections or facility inspections with workers present can now be streamlined and completed on-demand, vastly improving the serviceability and efficiency of these kinds of drone services.

The rules changes come thanks to the FAA’s new reliance upon a drone’s ability to identify itself remotely instead of simply operating anonymously in the sky. With remote ID, drones autonomously broadcast their location, altitude, speed, ID, and more so that air traffic control can know when and where drones are operating.

Many in the drone service industry see remote identification as what has allowed the FAA to relax drone service restrictions for night flights and flying over people, and see it as a sign that more innovative rule changes are on the horizon for the commercial drone industry.

To put it simply, now that responsible drone pilots and commercial drone service operators can be identified in the sky, they’re being given more freedom to complete their services than ever before.

That means more savings, more efficient drone operations, and more opportunity to grow in this already booming sector. 

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