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Leveling the Playingfield

K1burner

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Reprint of an AIN article:

Widesweeping UAS Provisions in New FAA Law
The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 that President Trump signed into law on Friday includes key provisions that are aimed at increasing safety and awareness within the recreational drone community, gives law enforcement virtual carte blanche to react immediately to any perceived drone threat, and lays the foundations for mandatory drone registration and identification and the development of the domestic drone package delivery industry.
It immediately repeals the Section 336 exemption for model aircraft, which allowed recreational drone operators to fly without obtaining an operators certificate. Under the law, recreational operators will now need to take an online tutorial to be developed by the FAA within six months and continue to register their aircraft and adhere to the current restrictions on recreational operations, including daylight-only flights no higher than 400 agl and not beyond visual line of sight.
The law also directs the FAA, FCC, and others to report on whether UAS operations should be permitted to use previously recommended L-band and C-band frequencies for operations within or outside the UAS traffic management system. Further, it requires the FAA to create a public database of UAS registrations, waiver of authorizations, and location and description of public operations. Significantly, the act also directs the FAA, within one year, to develop a small UAS air carrier certificate, certification process, and classification—a precursor to drone package delivery service.
 

LUIS MARTINEZ

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Reprint of an AIN article:

Widesweeping UAS Provisions in New FAA Law
The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 that President Trump signed into law on Friday includes key provisions that are aimed at increasing safety and awareness within the recreational drone community, gives law enforcement virtual carte blanche to react immediately to any perceived drone threat, and lays the foundations for mandatory drone registration and identification and the development of the domestic drone package delivery industry.
It immediately repeals the Section 336 exemption for model aircraft, which allowed recreational drone operators to fly without obtaining an operators certificate. Under the law, recreational operators will now need to take an online tutorial to be developed by the FAA within six months and continue to register their aircraft and adhere to the current restrictions on recreational operations, including daylight-only flights no higher than 400 agl and not beyond visual line of sight.
The law also directs the FAA, FCC, and others to report on whether UAS operations should be permitted to use previously recommended L-band and C-band frequencies for operations within or outside the UAS traffic management system. Further, it requires the FAA to create a public database of UAS registrations, waiver of authorizations, and location and description of public operations. Significantly, the act also directs the FAA, within one year, to develop a small UAS air carrier certificate, certification process, and classification—a precursor to drone package delivery service.
And?
 

K1burner

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Training for everyone, no more greater than line of sight, no more “hobbiest flying at night”. I think it is good to make the changes for everyone.
 

Phaedrus

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Training for everyone, no more greater than line of sight, no more “hobbiest flying at night”. I think it is good to make the changes for everyone.
Where did you see no more hobby night flights? There is no such provision in Section 349 which governs Recreational sUAS operations.
 

BigAl07

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Where did you see no more hobby night flights? There is no such provision in Section 349 which governs Recreational sUAS operations.
It's very likely that the new "Hobby" rules will very closely (aka exactly) mimic Part 107. Why would a hobbyist be able to randomly fly at night with the exact same aircraft as the rest of us who had to get a waiver?

Until we get the final release it's better to assume the worst case scenario.
 
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BigAl07

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Page 260 of the actual paper does mention "Night flight" specifically.

‘‘(D) beyond-visual-line-of-sight operations,
9 nighttime operations, operations over people,
10 operation of multiple small unmanned aircraft
11 systems, and unmanned aircraft systems traffic
12 management...

So it does look like Night flights will be controlled but we do not know yet as to what extent and if it will be something that a waiver can be obtained or not.
 

Phaedrus

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It's very likely that the new "Hobby" rules will very closely (aka exactly) mimic Part 107. Why would a hobbyist be able to randomly fly at night with the exact same aircraft as the rest of us who had to get an authorization?

Until we get the final release it's better to assume the worst case scenario.
Section 349 already provides a clear outline of the recreational operating parameters. I am not of the opinion that the FAA is going to essentially port over 107 into the recreational rules. The main questions for Section 349 are what will the test look like and how will it be implemented; how will the 400 foot altitude cap in Class G be governed (rumors from AMA indicate that there will be flexibility there), and what process will be used for authorization outside of Class G airspace.

However, we are talking about the FAA here, and given that Congress has granted clear authority to them to change the 8 operational definitions in 349, anything is possible. But for right now, there is no prohibition on night operations for hobby/recreational sUAS.
 

Phaedrus

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Page 260 of the actual paper does mention "Night flight" specifically.

‘‘(D) beyond-visual-line-of-sight operations,
9 nighttime operations, operations over people,
10 operation of multiple small unmanned aircraft
11 systems, and unmanned aircraft systems traffic
12 management...

So it does look like Night flights will be controlled but we do not know yet as to what extent and if it will be something that a waiver can be obtained or not.
That section is within the Rules applying to the mission of test ranges. It is not at all clear that it does, or will, apply to Section 349 Recreational sUAS operations. It is far more likely to affect Part 107 and other (public sUAS, etc.) operations where restrictions on night time operations, flights over people, and BLOS are already addressed. The intent of Section 349 is clearly made in the name of the section:

SEC. 349. EXCEPTION FOR LIMITED RECREATIONAL OPERATIONS OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT.

Clearly 349 defines the exceptions for recreational use which seems to contradict the idea that the FAA is simply going to impose Part 107 on recreational pilots.
 

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