FAA Issues Rules for Small Commercial Drones

By Kevin Eck 

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Transportation have finalized the first operational rules for “routine commercial use of small unmanned aircraft.”

The new rules cover drones weighing less than 55 pounds that are “conducting non-hobbyist operations.”


The FAA says the new rules could bring in more than $82 billion for the U.S. economy and create more than 100,000 new jobs over the next 10 years.

The new rules say the drone must be operated in visual line of sight during daylight hours, by someone over 16 years old who has passed a test given by the FAA and a TSA background check. The drones can only fly up to 400 feet or higher if they are within that range of a building or tower and must yield right of way to other aircraft. Click here to read the new rules.

“With this new rule, we are taking a careful and deliberate approach that balances the need to deploy this new technology with the FAA’s mission to protect public safety,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta as reported in USA Today. “But this is just our first step. We’re already working on additional rules that will expand the range of operations.”