It’s the Beginning of a New Era for Commercial Drone Activities
This week new FAA regulations came into effect in the U.S. that are opening the skies and marking a new era in aviation history for operators using or planning to use small Drones for commercial purposes in the future, although there is still a long way to go yet.
Commercial Drone operators now no longer need to obtain permission from the FAA for their drone activities where they had to previously, but they are however still subject to certain restrictions which will limit their activities, although this will be seen as a major step forward to the mainstream use of Drones for a wider purpose.
What are the Main Regulations
The main restrictions which will continue to limit the uses are that Drones must still be kept within visual sight of the operator, cannot go above 400 feet of ground level or exceed 100 mph. Also Drones cannot fly directly over any persons not involved in the operation and if they are carrying a payload, the combined weight of both Drone and payload cannot exceed 55 pounds.
However, one of the major changes is to have been able to operate a Drone commercially in the past a specific pilots licence was needed, but this has now been replaced and operators need now only take an FAA approved knowledge test, pass a background check and be over the age of 16 to gain their commercial operator licence. This certainly opens up possibilities to a much wider audience than before.
Significant Growth Ahead ?
According to FAA predictions, staggeringly they forecast that possibly as many as 600,000 Drones may be used commercially across the U.S. over the next year due to relaxing of the regulations, and also according to industry estimates, the new regulations could help generate more than $82 billion for the U.S. economy and possibly create more than 100,000 new jobs over the next 10 years. Currently there are a fraction of this number being operated as of today, so how can this be the case if the Drone has to be kept in view of the operator – this means that the Drones can’t be used for long distance deliveries can they ?
The new benefits will be seen by anyone who can make use of the visual or photographic advantages Drones have to offer, such as construction, property and of course aerial photography companies to name a few. You will probably even start seeing it regularly on your television news by reporters who are bound to take advantage – it will be much easier now to get better footage of that cat being rescued from the tree from the air !
One thing is for sure, as technology advances and Drones become ever more sophisticated, this is definitely an area you will see a lot more of in the future and who knows, your pizza delivery may become airborne a lot sooner than you think…..