Proposed Rules for Over-People Drone Ops Advance from FAA to White House

The journey toward federally approved drone operations taking place over people has reached a new milestone: The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) proposed rules for these flights are now in the hands of the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA).

According to an update from law firm Hogan Lovells, this transition marks “an important step in moving drone policymaking forward.”

Back in April, the FAA publicly released its report of recommendations for establishing a “flexible, performance-based proposed rule” for small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operations taking place over people who are not directly involved with the flight. An FAA-chosen aviation rulemaking committee met on March 8-10 and March 15-17 and delivered a set of recommendations on April 1, as mandated by the FAA.

“The ARC was focused on flight over people and, in furtherance of that goal, identified four small UAS categories, defined primarily by level of risk of injury posed, for operations over people,” the final report said.

Hogan Lovells notes that this period marks “the last realistic opportunity to influence this proposed rule before it is publicly released for comment.” Thus, the firm says, UAS stakeholders can request a meeting with OIRA “to discuss the proposed rule, what it should contain and how the rule will impact them.”

The full update from Hogan Lovells can be found here.

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