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FAA Announces Effective Dates for Final Drone Rules

FAA Announces Effective Dates for Final Drone Rules

The final rules requiring remote identification of drones and allowing some flights over people, over moving vehicles and at night under certain conditions will go into effect on April 21, 2021.

Remote identification (Remote ID) requires identification of drones in flight as well as the location of their control stations or takeoff point. It provides crucial information to our national security and law enforcement partners, and other officials charged with ensuring public safety. Airspace awareness reduces the risk of drone interference with other aircraft, people and property on the ground.

The Operations Over People rule applies to pilots who fly under Part 107 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. The ability to fly over people and over moving vehicles varies depending on the level of risk a small drone operation presents to people on the ground. The rule allows operations based on four categories, which can be found in the rule’s Executive Summary (PDF). Additionally, this rule allows operations at night under certain conditions. Prior to flying under the new provisions, a remote pilot must pass the updated initial knowledge test or complete the appropriate updated online training course, which will be available on April 6, 2021.

Part 107 currently prohibits drone operations over people, over moving vehicles and at night unless the operator obtains a waiver from the FAA. The new FAA regulations jointly provide increased flexibility to conduct certain small drone operations without obtaining a waiver.

The Operations Over People rule requires that remote pilots have their remote pilot certificate and identification in their physical possession when flying. It also expands the class of authorities who may request these documents from a remote pilot. The final rule replaces the 24 calendar month requirement to complete a recurrent aeronautical knowledge test with the requirement to complete updated online recurrent training that includes the rule’s new provisions.

The public can review both the Remote ID (PDF) and Operations Over People Rule (PDF) in the Federal Register.

About Steve Rhode

The Public Safety Flight website is dedicated to news, honest information, tips, and stories about the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), UAVs, aircraft, and drones in the fire service and other public safety niches.The site was founded by Steve Rhode, an FAA-certificated airplane commercial and instrument certificated pilot and a very experienced Part 107 UAS commercial pilot. Steve is the Chief Pilot with the Wake Forest Fire Department and the North Carolina Public Safety Drone Academy. He also provides expert advice to drone pilots through Homeland Security Information Network and he is an FAA Safety Team drone expert. Steve loves to work closely with public safety pilots to answer questions and share information, real-world truth, and drone operation advice. You can contact Steve here, learn more about Steve here, or join his public safety pilot private email list here.