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‘No Pilot’s License Required’ – FAA Relaxes Previous Stance on Drone Rules

21st Century Wire says…

Drone technology has surged in recent years, and with that, the government is in a slight panic to define what a drone can and can’t do.

The retail market for personal and small commercial drones is literally exploding right now.

Despite this recent stand-down by the FAA, drone users will continue to lock horns with regulators because commercial and ‘personal’ drone technology is evolving much quicker than the bureaucracy can keep up with…

(desoda/Flickr)

The Switch

Federal regulators have finally come out with their proposed rules for small drones — and, somewhat surprisingly, the draft regulations don’t require users to have a pilot’s license. For many businesses, the proposal could get their drones into the sky much, much more quickly.

Instead of a pilot’s license, the Federal Aviation Administration’s proposed rules would require little more than an operator’s “certificate” — a kind of driver’s license for drones — with a testing process that’s about as straightforward.

Under the draft regulations, applicants for a small drone operator’s certificate would simply have to pass a written knowledge test covering basic aeronautical information such as radio communications, emergency procedures and airspace classification, according to an official FAA document that was inadvertently and briefly posted on a government Web site Friday evening.

“A small UAS operator would not need any further private pilot certifications” beyond the FAA certification, the agency said in a release Sunday. That means no pilot’s license necessary.

That’s a major departure from what a draft of the long-awaited rules were said to include several months ago. Forcing businesses to obtain a pilot’s license would be a major hurdle for firms that don’t have a lot of aviation experience, advocates have said.

(…) To keep the certificate current, you’d have to retake the knowledge test every two years. Although applicants could go to a flight school to prepare, the FAA analysis says that probably won’t be necessary for most people and should lower the barriers to entry. And that’s a boon for businesses…

Continue this story at The Switch

READ MORE DRONE NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Drone Files

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