April 2015 Issue

Highlights Of The FAA’s Proposal


- Small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) must weigh less than 55 lbs. (25 kg).

- Maximum airspeed of 100 mph (87 knots), maximum altitude of 500 feet agl.

- Minimum weather visibility of three miles from control station.

See and avoid

- The sUAS must remain within visual line-of-sight of the operator or visual observer. A first-person view camera cannot satisfy “see-and-avoid” requirement.

- An sUAS may not be operated over any persons not directly involved in the operation.

- Daylight-only operations (official sunrise to official sunset, local time).

- Must yield right-of-way to other aircraft, manned or unmanned.

Controlled Airspace

- No sUAS operations in Class A airspace, but allowed within Class B, C, D and E airspace with the required ATC permission.

- Operations in Class G airspace are allowed without ATC permission.

Aircraft/airworthiness certification

- FAA airworthiness certification not required.

- Operator must maintain sUAS in condition for safe operation and conduct pre-flight inspection.

- Aircraft registration required as it applies to all other aircraft, except markings to be displayed in the largest practicable manner.

Operator Requirements

- Be at least 17 years old.

- Pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center, pass a recurrent test every 24 months and be vetted by the TSA.

- Hold an unmanned aircraft operator certificate with a small UAS rating (like existing pilot airman certificates, never expires).

- Report to the FAA within 10 days any accident resulting in injury or property damage.