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New rules allowing small drones to fly over people in U.S. take effect

Stock MarketsApr 21, 2021 01:25PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A drone flies over downtown during a NASA demonstration on the testing of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management (UTM) platform in Reno

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that final rules announced in December took effect on Wednesday allowing for small drones to fly over people and at night, a significant step toward their eventual use for widespread commercial deliveries.

The effective date was delayed about a month during the change in administration. The FAA said its long-awaited rules for the drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles, will address security concerns by requiring remote identification technology in most cases to enable their identification from the ground.

Previously, small drone operations over people were limited to operations over people who were directly participating in the operation, located under a covered structure, or inside a stationary vehicle - unless operators had obtained a waiver from the FAA.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Wednesday the rules "are an important first step in safely and securely managing the growing use of drones in our airspace, though more work remains on the journey to full integration" of drones.

Drone manufacturers have 18 months to begin producing drones with Remote ID, and operators will have an additional year to provide Remote ID.

Companies have been racing to create drone fleets to speed deliveries. As of December, the United States had over 1.7 million drone registrations and 203,000 FAA-certificated remote pilots.

For at-night operations, the FAA said drones must be equipped with anti-collision lights. The final rules allow operations over moving vehicles in some circumstances.

The new rules eliminate requirements that drones be connected to the internet to transmit location data but do require that they broadcast remote ID messages via radio frequency broadcast.

One change, since the rules were first proposed in 2019, requires that small drones not have any exposed rotating parts that would lacerate human skin.

New rules allowing small drones to fly over people in U.S. take effect
 

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Comments (5)
Gamer Turtle
GamerTurtle Apr 21, 2021 7:13PM ET
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eventually group of hackers will be deploying camera drones all over cities to spy on ppl pw on their phone. lol
Steve Lora
Steve Lora Apr 21, 2021 3:50PM ET
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I have a ccp license. I 'always' carry a 380. Best handgun , imo, for ccp made by Ruger. its one notch below 9mm. i been to the range and already put 600 practice rounds through it. Id pop a drone out 2 shots minimum and im average at the range
Me comment
Me comment Apr 21, 2021 2:17PM ET
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A 12 gauge works great on drones.
Gene Kret
Gene Kret Apr 21, 2021 2:17PM ET
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The bad guys will be able to see the cops coming from a mile away.
Steve Lora
Steve Lora Apr 21, 2021 2:17PM ET
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Police scanner is all one needs to know if thecops are committing. id say the street thugs are too ignorant to figure that out
Me comment
Me comment Apr 21, 2021 2:16PM ET
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crank them drones up and start peeping.
Gene Kret
Gene Kret Apr 21, 2021 1:13PM ET
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Not a good idea at all!! This will lead to major problems with 1st responders and emergency services not to mention ****and their incidents. This is going to also contribute to the pockets of lawyers with all the private property issues. This was a huge mistake on the part of the FAA!
 
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