The Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration has proposed a framework of regulations that would allow routine use of certain small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in today's aviation system, while maintaining flexibility to accommodate future technological innovations. The FAA proposal offers safety rules for small UAS (under 55 pounds) conducting non-recreational operations. The rule would limit flights to daylight and visual-line-of-sight operations. It also addresses height restrictions, operator certification, optional use of a visual observer, aircraft registration and marking, and operational limits.
The new rules would not apply to model aircraft. However, model aircraft operators must continue to satisfy all of the criteria specified in Sec. 336 of Public Law 112-95, including the stipulation that they be operated only for hobby or recreational purposes.
The 60-day public comment period for the small UAS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking closed on April 24, 2015.
Read an overview of the Small UAS NPRM (PDF).
Read the complete Small UAS NPRM (PDF).
Read the FAA press release issued February 15, 2015.