FAA releases long-awaited proposed commercial drone rules

The Federal Aviation Administration released a list of long-awaited proposed rules governing the use of small commercial drones on Sunday.

The proposed rules would permit drones up to 55 pounds to fly during daylight hours, as long as they remain within the operator’s sight, something companies like Amazon have taken issue with.

Drones would be required to fly below 500 feet and at less than 100 mph, and anyone who is 17 years or older would be allowed to operate a drone, provided they pass an aeronautics knowledge test.

The test requirement is more lenient than originally anticipated, and will not require drone operators to possess a license or log flying hours.

“Technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace and this milestone allows federal regulations and the use of our national airspace to evolve to safely accommodate innovation,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a press release.

While the proposed rules have been in the making for years, it unlikely that they will be solidified anytime soon. The FAA called for 60 days of public comment in response to the proposed rules.

“We have tried to be flexible in writing these rules,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “We want to maintain today’s outstanding level of aviation safety without placing an undue regulatory burden on an emerging industry.”

Despite the rapidly developing field, a drone crash-landing on a White House lawn last month renewed security concerns.

On Sunday, President Obama signed a memorandum ordering federal agencies using drones to come up with policies to protect the privacy and first amendment rights of individuals.

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