I'm still a little bewildered that folks are calling yesterdays FAA document a leak as we were sent it. Perhaps it was sent at the wrong time. They stuffed up with AIC 91/57 late last year which was withdrawn by accident. Maybe today sees the real removal of AIC 91/57 but on a Sunday. The Phantom on the lawn incident has done more to shove regs through than all the money thrown at it and talking heads since 2006.

Lets hope it does contain the sort of regs posted in the "leaked" document. If it does, the industry has lift off.

At sUAS News we believe this announce is after this November meeting but is happening quicker than expected because of that Phantom.

WHEN: 10 a.m., Sunday, February 15, 2015

WHO: Conference Call with U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and FAA Administrator Michael Huerta

The call-in number for the call is (800) 230-1059. The operator will ask you what you're calling in for. Tell the operator you are calling in for the DOT Press Briefing. There will be an opportunity to ask questions at the end. To ask a question press 1

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  • I agree Philip, so far the rules are sounding very reasonable.  I can only hope Canada follows suit and relaxes their burdensome regulations that are stifling the industry here.

  • Very encouraging rules. They seem very reasonable from the perspective of both air safety and allowing American UAV development to really take off. 

  • Trust me, I totally agree. In Fact, the commercial operators are already the safest as they currently are, and regulation will do nothing for safety when you factor in the numerous hobbyists who fly irresponsibly near airports, etc. However, at the end of the day, we all know there will be regulation one way or another. On the bright side, this is a step in the right direction. Will it do anything for safety? No. We will still have the same Phantoms getting the "shots" irresponsibly. Once again however, we knew regulation was coming for those who use it commercially, and I am personally glad it wasn't overboard.

  • It might make an easily accessible commercial avenue, Justin, but frankly the safety case differences between commercial and recreational are emotional at best and non-existent at worst.  This is commercial regulation masquerading as safety.

    It might be good news that the mafia bosses have relented, but they are still the Don's running the show (badly)

  • I hope you are correct, but there will be more idiots doing stupid things and they will be used (the press loves dirty laundry) to represent the hobby in general which can be cause to change the rules with a pen and a phone.

    Still, how will they enforce for commercial applications? If a background check is required, and someone knows they will not pass, what's to stop them from making a buck anyway? Like everything, only law abiding people follow rules, but still, starvation is a great motivator, licensed or otherwise.  And I'll bet the cost will be much higher than people think when it's said and done.

    You know, it was once said Canada was really doing great things for UAS, only minimal "necessary" regulations for public safety blah blah blah and no doubt there were those in the hobby there who thought it "could have been worse". Look it it now. It is worse.

    I don't trust one thing coming from this administration.

  • Guys, I think some of us are over reacting. They basically said that operating for hobby uses ] (Remote Control), then this regulation does NOTHING to you.

    All this does is provide an easily accessible commercial opportunity. I think a lot of us are missing that. For under $300 you can operate legally (Please, lets not complain about cost here... I have seen it mentioned a few times, and I think people need to put this in perspective. Your UHF, Camera, FPV system, Autopilot, and sometimes even airframe are individually worth close to $300!!!). Furthermore, they didn't even mention higher credentials for operating in restricted airspace! Only ATC approval! That is huge.

    I think we should all look back and realized UAV's got off easy. Many of us expecting very stringent rules and licensing procedures. This is a HUGE relief. Not to mention the numerous cases of irresponsible phantom flights, I am VERY surprised the FAA didn't lash back at an absurd extent. If anything it shows they just might have somewhat of a level head, and realize that the irresponsible ones are not e majority, and that UAV's provide vast opportunity.

    After all, I know many of us even proposed to our local FAA representatives even stricter rules! I know as a GA and UAS operator and enthusiast, I personally suggest a rating system with 3 different certifying levels which would allow operation in different airspace, and with heavier and/or larger Aircraft (all the way up to 55lbs).

  • What's next, a license to buy parts? A license to sell parts? How in hell can something like this be enforced without an army of paid oompa loompa's or restrictions on purchasing materials and components? Oh wait, they'd only need to regulate sales of the flight controller! Problem solved. How silly of me.

    If it comes down to getting a TSA pat down just to enjoy flying around my expensive toys out in the countryside, I'll either start a sUaSpeakEasy secret drone club, or just get out it. 

  • There's (at least) one element to the proposed rules that's insanely ignorant.  Not allowing night flying ties UAS use for search & rescue with one hand behind its back.  As an 8-year veteran of SAR, I can tell you that the bulk of searches occur at night.  Certainly the initial response is never limited to daylight hours.  87% of all searches are resolved in the first 12 hours.  Restricting SAR flights takes a valuable tool away and just goes to show the total lack of understanding that bureaucrats living in the ivory tower of Washington have for conditions in the real world.

  • The proposed rules didn't say NO fpv.  They said no fpv beyond line of sight using a visual observer.  It would be a safe guess that "if" a level of safety can be maintained under the current rules that beyond line of sight FPV will be approved in the future with stipulations for lost signal, not over people etc.  TSA background check is standard for any FAA certification so I do not see why UAS operator privileges on a certificate would be any different.  The portion that I did not see was "if " one holds a FAA certificate for Private or higher aircraft already, are they exempted from the UAS operator requirement, or are they too required to obtain a UAS operator certificate?

  • By all means this is better than many expected. Yay!

    That said, I have a few problems:

    1. It's lame to pay a few hundred bucks to get to do something we have already been doing. I knew this would be the case, but I don't have to like it. What am I getting for that money?

    2. No FPV.

    3. TSA background check. Why? Any person can still buy and use a sUAS - this only prevents them from getting a commercial license. I find it insulting to have model aviation, for commercial or not, treated as a national security threat.

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