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News and Reviews for Braymerica UAV Services
Changing drone regulations
Recent changes in regulation could also spur the use of drones for wind farm inspections.
Drones in the U.S. are currently required to fly within the visual line of site of the operator, which limits the range of flight to 305-610 meters (about 1,000-2,000 feet) on average, depending on how large the drone is.
On August 29, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officially permitted commercial flights of drones weighing less than 55 pounds (25 kilograms), flying during daytime at a maximum speed of 100 miles per hour (about 160 kilometers per hour) and at a maximum altitude of 400 feet (about 122 meters) above ground level (or, if higher than that, remain within 400 feet of a structure), and as long as they remain within the line of sight of the operator.
Previously, drones were not allowed to exceed 400 feet in altitude. The changes mean that even though some wind farms may be too big for drones to remain within the line of sight of the operator, drones can still be operated on a 500-foot turbine, for example.
The new rules also open up a process to waive some of the rule’s restrictions if an operator demonstrates the proposed flight will be conducted safely under a waiver.
They also eliminate the once-required FAA pilot’s license to fly a commercial drone and replace it with certificate, which is easier to obtain.
This could reduce the costs to get licensed for drone operation and increase operational flexibility for owners that want to use drones for O&M.