New FAA Drone Rules Including Flights at Night, Over People Go Into Effect April 21
Monday, March 15, 2021 | Comments

The final rules from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requiring remote ID of drones and allowing some drone flights over people, over moving vehicles and at night under certain conditions will go into effect on April 21.

Remote ID requires identification of drones in flight, as well as the location of their control stations or takeoff point. It provides crucial information to national security and law enforcement, and other officials charged with ensuring public safety. Airspace awareness reduces the risk of drone interference with other aircraft, people and property on the ground.

The operations over people rule applies to pilots who fly under Part 107 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. The ability to fly over people and over moving vehicles varies depending on the level of risk a small drone operation presents to people on the ground. The rule allows operations based on four categories. Additionally, the rule allows operations at night under certain conditions. Prior to flying under the new provisions, a remote pilot must pass the updated initial knowledge test or complete the appropriate updated online training course, which will be available on April 6.

Part 107 currently prohibits drone operations over people, over moving vehicles and at night unless the operator obtains a waiver from the FAA. The new FAA regulations jointly provide increased flexibility to conduct certain small drone operations without obtaining a waiver. The operations over people rule requires that remote pilots have their remote pilot certificate and identification in their physical possession when flying. It also expands the class of authorities who may request these documents from a remote pilot. The final rule replaces the 24-calendar-month requirement to complete a recurrent aeronautical knowledge test with the requirement to complete updated online recurrent training that includes the rule’s new provisions.

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