Just came across a good bottom line breakdown of what the new recently announced FAA roadmap for regulation of commercial and private Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) BY 2015 via @dronelaws.
Some of the key takeaways here are:
Pilot Certifications: Even for small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) which are defined as aircraft that weigh less than 55 lbs. (That means you RC flyers and Drone/UAV hobbyists). It could also have an impact on commercial applications as well since a lot of those applications including aerial photography, mapping, and a whole slew of new drone delivery services popping up use UAS that weight less than 55 lbs.
No Autonomous Flight: Yep, you read that right. Apparently they FAA has already decided that the pilot must be in control at all times.
Day Time Flight Only (initially): Looks like initially the FAA’s plan is to only allow public sector night flight usage with the idea being to slowly bring about night capabilities for commercial operators later. No specific mention of personal operators though.
The rest is an interesting read and definitely worth checking out but consists of a lot of stuff we all saw coming. Including Line-of-Sight flight restrictions and rules that address privacy concerns. However this specific line deeply concerns me: “Operations outside of Class B/C airspace and not over populated areas”.
If that ends up being implemented the way it sounds it will hugely impact a lot of commercial and even hobbyist usage. The LoS restriction could put a damper on things for our FPV fans out there but it’s quite possible to execute and enjoy some good FPV flying while keeping the aircraft within LoS.
You can check out the full report here. I’ve also attached it to this write-up in case it gets taken down or moved. Definitely interested in thoughts on this.