FAA rule for US small commercial UAVs up to 25kgs - Pager Power
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FAA rule for US small commercial UAVs up to 25kgs

FAA rule for US small commercial UAVs up to 25kgs
April 20, 2015 Mike Watson

UAV in flight - FAA Drone rules

The Small UAS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is out for consultation in draft form.

It was published in February 2015 and sets out regulations for flying commercial small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) as well as rules for operator and aircraft certification. Examples of UAS include Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) – also known as drones. These rules do not apply to the recreational flying of model aircraft.

The regulations set out in the new rule are summarized in the tables below [1]:

Operational Limits

Operating Parameter Limit
Maximum weight 55lbs (25kg)
Range Visual Line of Sight
Operating times Daylight only
Operation over people People connected with the flight only
Right of way Yield to manned and unmanned aircraft
Maximum airspeed 100mph (87 knots)
Maximum altitude 500 feet above ground level
Minimum visibility 3 miles from control station
Airspace restrictions No operations in Class A
ATC permission required in Classes B, C, D and E
Multiple UAVs No one can operate more than one UAV at a time
Careless or Reckless operations Not allowed
Preflight Inspection To be undertaken by operator. Inspection to include aircraft and control station.
FAA Inspection Operator to make aircraft and records available for FAA inspection on request

UAV Operator Controls

Pilot / Operator Requirements

Requirement Specifics
Age Pilots must be at least 17 years old
Definition Pilots are considered to be Operators
Aeronautical Knowledge Test Initial test to be passed at an FAA-approved knowledge testing centre. Test to be passed every 24 months.
Vetting Operators to be vetted by Transportation Security Administration
Operator Certificate Operators to obtain an unmanned aircraft operator certificate with a small UAS rating

Aircraft Requirements

Requirement Specifics
Maintenance Aircraft must be maintained in a condition for safe operation
Registration Registration is required
Markings Aircraft markings to be displayed in largest practicable manner


[1] Overview of Small UAS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FAA (Last Accessed 16/04/2015)


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