FAA forecast: 600000 commercial drones within the year

30 August 2016, 03:26 | Andres Norman

FAA forecast: 600000 commercial drones within the year

FAA forecast: 600000 commercial drones within the year

On the first day the rules were in effect the FAA had already granted 76 exemptions, majority to companies that want to fly drones at night, Huerta said. The first exam became available at 8 a.m. this morning-Monday, August 29, 2016.

Now he just has to take a 150 dollar FAA test. "Drones are helping to create a whole new means of realizing the American dream", he added later.

Gretchen West, senior advisor at law firm Hogan Lovells and co-executive director of the Commercial Drone Alliance advocacy group, said she expects to see an uptick in use once the rules take effect. Past year the agency picked CNN as one of three companies to explore potential safe uses of drones: CNN looked at opportunities to cover news in crowded urban areas while PrecisionHawk explored rural crop monitoring and BNSF Railway investigated ways to inspect track infrastructure.

Foxx, who is also a lawyer, said he was excited about the use of drones for fighting forest fires.

The long-awaited rule basically gives a green light for businesses to fly drones weighing up to 55 pounds in sparsely populated areas up to 400 feet above ground during daylight hours and within sight of the pilot. Over time, the government will write other rules that'll enable the use of commercial drones even more widely.

There's nothing saying a drone pilot can't fly a drone right up to your window and look inside your home and record video. Huerta said Monday that the FAA has approved nearly 80 waiver applications; the vast majority sought permission to operate at night. Now, those interested in flying can seek a remote operator's certificate, which can be obtained by passing an FAA aeronautical knowledge test and fulfilling other requirements.

What if companies have plans that would break those rules?

Wynne pointed to the flood of exemption requests the FAA has received as strong evidence that the commercial UAS market is poised for incredible growth.

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Preston's company, 417 Drone Imaging, will be affected by the Federal Aviation Administration's new drone policies, which took effect Monday.

That change lowers the barriers to entry into the commercial drone business.

In 2015, the FAA offered an exemption to vehicle maker Yamaha Motor Corporation Ltd.to operate RMAX drones for commercial agricultural purposes.

While these rules open up a large number of opportunities for the drone industry the rules wall off the use of autonomous drones (i.e. those that are controlled entirely by software and not by a human pilot).

"It's not until we have that system in place that we'll start to see you know, package delivery", said O'Connor. Check out the FAA's sample test here. Testing centers nationwide can administer the Aeronautical Knowledge Test required under Part 107. The list is stored alphabetically by state then city and includes addresses and phone numbers for the locations.

The airline pilots also urged regulation of hobbyists, which Congress exempted from the rules for commercial drones. The FAA will mail a permanent Remote Pilot Certificate within 120 days.

"We rely on our decades of aviation experience to say, 'Is this a good call or a bad call?', and that's something you don't get by taking an online test", he said.

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