New FAA Regulations Require Drone Pilots to Get Licenses

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The day has arrived to finally get that drone license.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s rules governing the use of drones went into effect Monday. This means that, among other things, people now have to pass an aeronautical knowledge test to fly drones.

Drone pilots will also have to keep a variety of restrictions in mind while they’re flying. The FAA now requires pilots to have visual line-of-sight with their drones at all times, prohibits flying drones over bystanders, and restricts drone flights to daylight hours. Pilots will also have to make sure their aircraft weighs less than 55 pounds, doesn’t move faster than 100 miles per hour, and flies below 400 feet.

“The FAA’s role is to set a flexible framework of safety without impeding innovation,” FAA exec Michael Huerta said in a release. “With these rules, we have created an environment in which emerging technology can be rapidly introduced while protecting the safety of the world’s busiest, most complex airspace.” These guidelines, in other words, are a compromise between the present and the future.

These rules don’t apply to efforts by Google, Amazon, and other companies to start delivering packages with drones. The White House is letting Google experiment with these delivery drones, but right now the use of autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles isn’t allowed, which means these projects won’t roll out anytime soon.

The FAA also wanted to introduce privacy regulations for consumer drones but had to remove those provisions from a reauthorization bill to secure funding. A summary of the drone restrictions that are now in effect can be found below:

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