Hey there, and welcome to another episode of Tips & Tech Talk. I am your host, Ron. I am a drone pilot in Metro Detroit and and today I want to talk about drone news – big drone news. It’s the FAA Reauthorization Bill that was signed by President Trump last week. And this will affect everyone, not just drone flyers, not just hobbyists, but this will affect everyone in Michigan and throughout the U.S.
It’s essentially the repealing of Section 336. Before President Trump signed this legislation, if you wanted to use your drone for business purposes, you had to become a UA pilot, pass a test with the FAA, and you were good to go. You got a pilot license, and you were good to go to fly your drone for business. If you flew your drone for hobby reasons, or just for fun, all you had to do, when you bought your drone was register your drone with the FAA and that was it. Well, that is about to change.
What Changes with The FAA Reauthorization Bill?
Basically, what this means moving forward is that the FAA has been given clearance to set guidelines, rules and regulations for drone operators, or other UA pilots. This has been in contention for a little bit, it’s gone back and forth. But essentially this changes the game in the sense that now the FAA is responsible for making the rules and regulations as far as what you can and can’t do with a drone.
But they’re also going to be responsible for enforcing those rules. And whereas in the past few years, when people broke the rules you didn’t hear a lot about too much punishment. That is about to change. As a result of the legislation, the FAA now has one year to make new rules and regulations as it pertains to drone usage. This also creates a budget, and creates resources for the FAA to take this on and create essentially new guidelines for drone operators and other aerial UA pilots. But also, to enforce the rules that they’re going to set forth.
Now, they do have a year to make up these rules, but they’ve been given six months to reach out and work with community based organizations. They have an explanation of what they consider community based organizations, so they’re going to work with essentially community based organizations to develop an online test for drone operators, who use their quad for recreational purposes.
So, that is something you can expect in the next six months, drone operators who use their quad for recreational and fun purposes, are going to be required to take a test online. So, that means whether you’re using your drone for a hobby, or you’re using your drone for professional purposes, you’re going to have to become certified and pass a test with the FAA.
That also means that ignorance will no longer be an excuse. And you can be rest assured that with these new resources, the FAA will be capable of enforcing these rules and regulations for people who go against the grain and disobey them. So, understand there’s a lot at stake here, you’re talking about putting things in the air with helicopters, fixed wing aircraft. So, there’s a lot at stake here, and it’s quite understandable. So, I understand why the hobbyists are upset, but I also see the need for some kind of order, because drones have become so popular.
So, one piece of the legislation that passed is getting a lot more attention than the others, and that is the legislation dealing with line of sight with your drones. I don’t know if there’s a timetable that you can put on it, but this legislation sets the tone and sets the table for companies like Amazon and DHL to be able to deliver their products via drone.
So, you’ve already been seeing it in commercials where they’re showing you what they’re going to do, they’re going to deliver your products, or deliver your goods via the drone. So, the FAA reauthorization is again law. President Trump signed it last week. This is going to happen. There’s going to be a lot of changes as regards to drone use in this country. So, stay tuned, as it develops I’ll pass more information onto you.
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Thanks for watching, we’ll see you next time for another episode of Tips & Tech Talk. So long.