Document Type

Blog Post

Publication Date



Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), often called drones, are rapidly entering the public space. Because drones operate in federal airspace, Congress tasked the FAA with creating new safety rules to address commercial drone flight. In February, the FAA released its proposed new rules governing drones weighing less than 55 pounds, which are used for non‑recreational purposes. Among other restrictions, the proposed rules limit flights to daylight, visual‑line‑of‑sight, below 500 feet, at flight speeds not to exceed 100 miles per hour. Additionally, operators must not fly drones over people. The FAA would also require operators to be certified and to incur other responsibilities. Not everyone is happy with the FAA’s newly proposed rules. Opponents say that the rules needlessly stifle technological development with unwarranted safety concerns.