FAA sets new drone regulations - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

FAA sets new drone regulations

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RAYMOND, MS (WLBT) -

The FAA has finally weighed in with new regulations for drone operators. They are safety guidelines the aviation industry and enthusiasts have been long awaiting.  

The rapidly growing pass time and commercial enterprise now has safety procedures in place for drone usage.

"I've been looking for it for 10 years," said Dennis Lott who heads the Unmanned Aircraft System Program at Hinds Community College.

Tuesday the licensed pilot was happy to finally see new regulations from the Federal Aviation Administration that create legal commercial drone operations and guidelines for hobbyists with aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds.

"What the FAA has done, they have created a registry for all operators of any hobby aircraft to register so they can have an informative channel to educate the public as to what the rules of the air are so they can know where they can fly and where they can't fly," added Lott.

The Agricultural pilot and college instructor trains students to operate drones for commercial use, like crop monitoring, tower, bridge and building inspections and more.

According to industry estimates, the rule could generate more than $82 billion for the U.S. economy and create more than 100,000 new jobs over the next 10 years.

"We train unmanned systems pilots so that they can go safely operate these aircraft. know how to set them up, assemble them, build them, integrate the sensors onto the system and go collect data," said Lott.

Experts say there are 4,500 manned aircraft using American airspace daily. Add to that hundreds, possibly thousands of recreational drones.

Commercial pilots must be 16 years old, keep an unmanned aircraft within visual line of sight and operate during daylight.

New regulations also address height and speed restrictions such as prohibiting flights over people and property on the ground.

Flying over airports and football stadiums is prohibited.

There is no age limit for hobbyists but they must now register with the FAA , learn the rules and  receive certification. 

The FAA drone regulations take effect in late August. You will find all the requirements at  the FAA website. 

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