One of the most popular gifts this year are those flying drones. They fly wreaking havoc on all of nature’s flying creatures while we snap pictures, take video, and perform stunts. These little flying marvels can be a whole lot of fun, but we must remember that we have to operate them in a way that is safe and respectful of those around us.
To all you new and old drone pilots, there are many laws and regulations in operating drones. For instance, did you know that the FAA requires that any drone weighing between .55 pounds and 55 pounds must be registered with the FAA? Failing to do so could lead to $250,000 in fines and up to three years in prison.
Did I get your attention? Here are some other regulations involving drone use:
- Line of Sight Rule: Drones may only be operated in areas where the operator can always keep the drone within eye shot without the use of binoculars or other devises
- Drones must be operated at least five miles away from any airport without providing advanced notice to the airport and air traffic control
- Drones may only be operated during daylight
- Drones cannot operate over any critical infrastructure (water treatment plants, power plants or prisons).
- Drone operators must yield right-of-way to all manned aircraft
- Drone must remain under 400 feet from the ground
- Drones may not fly at speeds greater than 100 miles per hour
- Drones cannot be used to violate privacy or commit video voyeurism
- Drones may not be used to block a roadway or sidewalk or to harass another person
Drones can be a lot of fun, but there are rules for their operation. Please use good judgement and be respectful for others while piloting your unmanned aircraft.