The General Aviation Pilots Flying Resource

FAA New Drone Rules

FAA Launches New Drone Rules

On August 29, 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) new comprehensive regulations went into effect for routine, non-recreational use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) – more popularly known as “drones.” The provisions of the new rule – formally known as part 107 – are designed to minimize risks to other aircraft, and people and property on the ground. A summary is available here. (PDF)

Testing centers nationwide can now administer the Aeronautical Knowledge Test required under part 107. After you pass the test, you must complete an FAA Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application at: to receive your remote pilot certificate.

The new regulations don’t apply to model aircraft operations, as defined in Section 336 of Public Law 112-95 (now codified in part 101), as long as the model aircraft operates only for hobby or recreational purposes.

For more information:

Quick Summary

Operational Limitations • Unmanned aircraft must weigh less than 55 lbs. (25 kg).
• Visual line-of-sight (VLOS) only; the unmanned aircraft must
remain within VLOS of the remote pilot in command and the
person manipulating the flight controls of the small UAS.
Alternatively, the unmanned aircraft must remain within
VLOS of the visual observer.
• At all times the small unmanned aircraft must remain close
enough to the remote pilot in command and the person
manipulating the flight controls of the small UAS for those
people to be capable of seeing the aircraft with vision
unaided by any device other than corrective lenses.
• Small unmanned aircraft may not operate over any persons
not directly participating in the operation, not under a
covered structure, and not inside a covered stationary
• Daylight-only operations, or civil twilight (30 minutes before
official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset, local time)
with appropriate anti-collision lighting.
• Must yield right of way to other aircraft.
• May use visual observer (VO) but not required.
• First-person view camera cannot satisfy “see-and-avoid”
requirement but can be used as long as requirement is
satisfied in other ways.
• Maximum groundspeed of 100 mph (87 knots).
• Maximum altitude of 400 feet above ground level (AGL) or, if
higher than 400 feet AGL, remain within 400 feet of a
• Minimum weather visibility of 3 miles from control station.
• Operations in Class B, C, D and E airspace are allowed with
the required ATC permission.
• Operations in Class G airspace are allowed without ATC
• No person may act as a remote pilot in command or VO for
more than one unmanned aircraft operation at one time.
• No operations from a moving aircraft.
• No operations from a moving vehicle unless the operation is
over a sparsely populated area.
• No careless or reckless operations.
• No carriage of hazardous materials.


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