- Flying drones have gained mass popularity for both work and leisure, but there are laws that you need to know about before you get your drone in the air.
- “I think the most important thing to understand initially about drones is that the regulations are very different for hobbyist operations and commercial operations (which includes operations by the government).” – Joy Latimer, Assistant City Attorney at Springfield Branson Airport.
- For those who want to be able to use their new drone, you need to make sure that you understand the laws of flying a small unmanned aircraft.
- To understand the difference is recreational flight laws and work flight laws is the most important part to make sure your drone is in the air safely.
Drone Laws in Springfield
In past few years, flying drones have become widely popular for those wanting to photograph, film, and capture moments from an a view from above. With these small flying unmanned aircrafts only being regulated by one individual, the Federal Aviation Agency has made laws to regulate for air safety and privacy. This way, no in-air collisions can occur or drones flying on private or government property.
Loy Latimer, the Assistant City Attorney at the Springfield Branson Airport, regulates these drone laws and provides users information to regulate their drones. “I think the most important thing to understand initially about drones is that the regulations are very different for hobbyist operations and commercial operations,” Latimer stated when asked about the drone laws, “which includes operations by the government.”
“The only requirement before flying for the hobbyist drone pilot (flying for fun) is that the drone must be registered on the FAA website if it weighs more than .55 lbs. The restrictions on airspace are within 5 miles of an airport. Keep in mind Springfield has two airports – the big one I work at, Springfield Branson National Airport, on the northwest side of town, and the Downtown Airport, on the east side of town,” Latimer said. “I haven’t pulled it up on google earth, but with the airport locations, I imagine 5 miles blocked out over each one will knock out a good portion of the north side of Springfield.”
These two types of drone usage are not too different, but essentially important knowledge for any drone pilot. The Federal Aviation Agency has an entire section on their website to let pilots know all the laws regulated for drones and for which types of use. The rules include the following:
Fly for Work Requirements
1. Pilot Requirements – Must have a Remote Pilot Airman Certificate. 16 years of age, and pass the TSA vetting.
2. Aircraft Requirements – Less tha 55 lbs, registered if over 0.55 lbs, undergo pre-flight check to ensure UAS is in condition for safe operation.
3. Location Requirements – Class G airspace.
4. Operating Rules – Must keep aircraft in visual line-of-sight, fly under 400 feet, must fly at or below 100 mph, must yield right of way of manned aircraft, must not fly over people, must not fly from a moving vehicle.
Fly for Fun Requirements
1. Pilot requirements – No pilot requirements.
2. Aircraft Requirements – Must be registered if over 0.55 lbs.
3. Location Requirements – 5 miles from airports without prior notification to airport and airport traffic control.
4. Operating Rules – Must always yield right of way to manned aircraft, must keep the aircraft in visual line-of-sight, UAS must be under 55 lbs, must follow community-based safety guidelines, must notify airport and air traffic control within 5 miles of an airport.
With all these requirements set out, people will now be able to fly their drones safely. Accident reporting required to FAA if there is a serious injury or more than $500 damage done to property besides UA itself.