The Federal Aviation Administration’s (“FAA’s”) recently established rules to allow the commercial operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (“sUAS”) – more commonly known as “drones” – took effect on Monday, August 29, 2016. We previously wrote about these rules (and the opportunities and risks they present for broadcasters) here and here. For those eager to get their newsgathering drones off the ground, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Certification. Under the new rule, all operations must be conducted by, or under the supervision of, a person who holds a “remote pilot certificate.” The least resource-intensive way to achieve this certification is for licensed pilots (with up-to-date flight reviews) to take a free online training course. Novice flyers without a pilot’s license are required to pass an aeronautical knowledge test and also meet certain age and security clearance requirements. Luckily, there are resources available (here and here) to usher you through the process.