Time Almost Up to Comment on FAA’s Proposed UAV Rules

Posted by Betsy Lillian on April 21, 2015 No Comments
Categories : Policy & Regulations

The 60-day public-comment period for the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) proposed rules for small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is soon coming to a close.

Input on the Noticed of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) must be submitted on or before Friday, April 24. Comments can be faxed, hand-delivered, mailed or posted electronically here. As of April 21, more than 3,500 comments have been received.

Released in mid-February, the proposal includes requirements that UAVs are flown in the daytime, within visual line of sight of the operator and not above people (excluding those who are a part of the operation). The UAVs would also need to stay under 500 feet in altitude and maintain a speed of under 100 mph.

The NPRM covers all commercial unmanned aircraft weighing under 55 pounds (model aircraft not included), but the FAA noted that it is allowing for extensive discussion of the possibility of an additional, more flexible framework for “micro” UAS under 4.4 pounds.

A micro UAS rule was proposed in December on behalf of UAS America Fund LLC by Brendan Schulman of law firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP. This regulation would cover all commercial UAS that weigh under three pounds and fly below 400 feet in altitude.

Kramer Levin has compiled a list of what it calls “certain aspects of the NPRM that may affect key stakeholders and that raise notable aspects of the rulemaking process.” The law firm’s suggestions, as well as its full alert on the subject, can be found here.

All information on how to submit comments, as well as the full NPRM, can be acccessed here.

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