US Proposes New Rules Regulating Drone Use, Recommends Users to be Above 17-Year
US aviation regulators unveiled sweeping new guidelines on Sunday governing the use of small unmanned drones, proposing that the devices can only fly in daylight, must remain within users’ sightlines and cannot fly near manned aircraft.
The guidelines from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also recommend that drone operators obtain a special certificate to be renewed every two years and limits the speed of the drone to 100 miles (161 kilometers per hour). Users would have to be 17 years or older.
The devices would also be required to fly below 500 feet (150 meters) in altitude and would not be permitted near airports or other airspace without special permission.
The new guidelines would apply to drones, or unmanned aircraft systems, that are under 55 pounds (25 kilograms.)
The recreational use of drones has soared in popularity recently, but their use in the United States has remained largely unregulated.
President Barack Obama has called for more stringent rules on drone use after a “quadcopter” device crashed on White House grounds last month, prompting a security alert.
The FAA said the new rules sought to balance innovation with safety, and the agency’s administrator Michael Huerta called the proposed guidelines a milestone.
“We have tried to be flexible in writing these rules,” he said.
“We want to maintain today’s outstanding level of aviation safety without placing an undue regulatory burden on an emerging industry.”
The public now has 60 days to make comments on the rules, which the FAA said it will consider before drafting a final proposal.