Drones, or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), have become increasingly popular over the past few years. They are a lot of fun, generally not that expensive and relatively easy to fly. These UAS do however have their own set of rules to abide by. The FAA thinks they have the possibility to invade the privacy of others, interfere with manned aircraft and cause a variety of other problems. So to stay out of hot water with your local law enforcement and avoid FAA penalties, listed below are some of the rules the FAA requires drone operators to follow.
- Register your drone with the FAA before you fly it if it weighs between 0.55lbs and up to 55lbs. Register online at https://registermyuas.faa.gov/
- The UAS is limited to not more than 55 pounds.
- Follow community-based safety guidelines, as developed by organizations such as the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA).
- Fly no higher than 400 feet and remain below any surrounding obstacles when possible.
- Keep your UAS within visual line of sight at all times.
- Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations, and you must see and avoid other aircraft and obstacles at all times.
- Do not intentionally fly over unprotected persons or moving vehicles, and remain at least 25 feet away from individuals and vulnerable property.
- Contact the airport and control tower before flying within five miles of an airport or heliport.
- Do not fly in adverse weather conditions such as in high winds or reduced visibility.
- Do not fly under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Ensure the operating environment is safe and that the operator is competent and proficient in the operation of the sUAS.
- Do not fly near or over sensitive infrastructure or property such as power stations, water treatment facilities, correctional facilities, heavily traveled roadways, government facilities, etc.
- Check and follow all local laws and ordinances before flying over private property.
- Do not conduct surveillance or photograph persons in areas where there is an expectation of privacy without the individual’s permission.
So make sure you fly your drone responsibly by staying within the FAA regulations. All information used in this article obtained from the FAA and Know Before You Fly, which is endorsed by the FAA. Go check out their websites for an abundance of more information regarding the use of UAS. http://www.faa.gov/uas/ http://knowbeforeyoufly.org/