New FAA Drone Rules

The FAA updated rules for commercial drone use. This has caused headaches for some industries, but fortunately, the new rules shouldn’t be much of an inconvenience for agricultural use. Here’s what you need to know about using drones on your farm:

  • You don’t need a pilot’s license. You’ll just need to pass a test for a remote pilot airman certificate. This can be done online or at a testing location.
  • You no longer need an observer present. As long as you have your certificate, you’re able to operate on your own.
  • Stay within 400 feet with your eyes on the drone. This is an improvement, since the previous regulations required you to stay within 200 feet.
  • The weight of the drone must be under 55 lbs. This will probably be all you need, but you can get a waiver for machine over that limit.
  • You can hire someone to do it. Before, it was illegal to do so without an exemption. Now, you can hire anyone over age 16 with a remote pilot certificate.
  • You can still fly the drone over farm staff. The new rules specify that you can’t operate drones over a crowd, but “affiliated members” – which includes everyone on your farm – are exempt. If others are present who aren’t affiliated members, you’ll need to get a special waiver.

To read more, see the full article from Farm Industry News.