Well, the rules they are a’changin! So what is Part 107? The FAA has just made it a lot easier for businesses to use drones in their line of works. They announced Tuesday the first set of operational rules that will allow businesses to fly drones in the U.S. as long as the drones meet a set of requirements. These requirements include:
- Weighing less than 55 lbs.
- Adhering to existing registration requirements
- Pilot must pass an unmanned aircraft operator test
For the full FAA summary, click here.
More revenue, more jobs
The new rules could generate more than $82 billion for the US economy and create more than 100,000 new jobs over the next 10 years. That’s according to industry estimates.
This is great news for the commercial drone industry, which is expected to grow into a $20.6 billion global market over the next five years, according to a March 2016 report from Goldman Sachs.
The U.S. market had been hammered by restrictions and rules that have left a lot of drone pilots confused about how they can make some money in the drone industry.
Perhaps the biggest challenge for the pilot now is they will need to take a written, drone-specific, aeronautical knowledge test.
Previously, commercial drone use was illegal unless businesses received a Section 333 exemption from the FAA, which was a complicated and lengthy process that required operators to have a manned pilot’s license.
Since 2014 the FAA has granted more than 6,100 of those exemptions, and another 7,600 are waiting for approval.
Part 107 now eases those restrictions.
A good step in the right direction
“It’s a good first step and a good early precedent for what a balanced approach looks like,” said Brendan Schulman, DJI’s vice president of policy and legal affairs. “But there is still a lot of work to be done on other types of operations and other categories.”
Under the new rules, drones still legally cannot fly over people or go past the operator’s visual line of site. There’s also concern about the testing requirement, which states that drone operators without a pilot’s license need to take the test in-person.
You can bet there will be a lot of press about this new rule and a lot of happy businesses ready to take the next step into generating revenue under the new rule.
The new rule takes effect in late August.
Boy with drone image: @dronedivapilot (Instagram)