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The Federal Aviation Administration noted on April 21 that two new final rules governing drone operations are now in effect: one requiring remote identification of drones, while the other allows operators of small drones to fly over people and at night under certain conditions.

[Above photo by Caltrans]

“Today’s 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 Unmanned Aircraft Systems,” explained Pete Buttigieg, secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, in a statement.

Pete Buttigieg. Photo by USDOT.

“[USDOT] looks forward to working with stakeholders to ensure that our UAS policies keep pace with innovation, ensure the safety and security of our communities, and foster the economic competitiveness of our country,” he added.

“Drones can provide virtually limitless benefits, and these new rules will ensure these important operations can grow safely and securely,” explained Steve Dickson, FAA’s administrator.

“The FAA will continue to work closely with other [USDOT] offices and stakeholders from across the drone community to take meaningful steps to integrate emerging technologies that safely support increased opportunities for more complex drone use,” he said.

Photo by the Kansas DOT

The remote identification or Remote ID rule provides for identifying drones in flight and the location of their control stations, reducing the risk of them interfering with other aircraft or posing a risk to people and property on the ground. It applies to all drones that require FAA registration, the agency said.

Meanwhile the operations over people/fly by night rule applies to pilots who fly under Part 107 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. Under this rule, the ability to fly over people and over moving vehicles varies depending on the level of risk a small drone poses to people on the ground.

Additionally, it allows operations at night under certain conditions – provided drone pilots complete certain training or pass knowledge tests.

editor@aashto.org

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