Netherlands-based Aerialtronics, an international manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), says the newly proposed UAV rules give the green light for many U.S. businesses to start planning for future drone operations.
Under the proposed rules, small commercial UAVs weighing under 55 pounds can fly up to 100 mph and 500 feet in altitude, in the daylight hours, and within line of sight of the operator.
Aerialtronics says this is encouraging for businesses that conduct, for example, crop monitoring; mapping; and inspecting cell towers, wind turbines and other infrastructure. Although operators would have to pass an FAA test of aeronautical knowledge, they would not need a private pilot license or airworthiness certificate, as currently required in the Section 333 exemption process.
“We are more than ready for this. We can start helping businesses to save money and do their work more efficiently,” says Lucas van Oostrum, chief technical officer and co-founder of Aerialtronics.
The company offers aerial and data solutions for applications such as wind turbine inspections, fire-fighting, and drug and gas detection, as well as surveying, mapping and capturing big data.
Jeremy Wigmore, CEO of Aerialtronics, adds, “This is a major step forward for us. As a member of the Small UAV Coalition, we have been directly involved in the rulemaking process. We share this knowledge with our customers and advise them how to integrate drones into their business. We are ready to fly on this.”