In the US, small drones will be able to fly over people at night. This decision was made by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The new rules will take effect at the beginning of 2021.
In accordance with the changes, drones in the United States must support Remote ID technology. The system will broadcast the drone ID and location via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or radio. The latter will allow the use of drones in areas without Internet access. Authorities expect Remote ID to help drones perform more complex operations.
Remote ID will be valid for all drones weighing 0.25kg or more. The rules go into effect 60 days after they are posted on the federal register in January. Drone manufacturers will be given a year and a half to begin production of drones with remote identification systems. Operators will have an additional year to migrate to remote-ID drones.
In addition, under the new rules, drones will be able to fly at night. The FAA said that in order to operate at night, drones must be equipped with warning lights to prevent collisions. Signals must be visible from a distance of at least 4.8 km.
To fly over people, operators will no longer need to obtain special permission from the FAA, however, drone owners will need to complete a preparatory course and pass a test on knowledge of drone flight rules. In addition, the regulations dictate that small drones have no exposed rotating parts that could cut human skin.
For today how writes agency Reuter, there are over 1.7 million registered drones in the US. Many companies are announcing plans to build a fleet of drones to deliver goods quickly. In particular, United Parcel Service received permission to operate the drone fleet in October 2019. In August, Amazon received permission to begin testing commercial shipments through its drone fleet. In September, Walmart announced plans to launch a pilot project to deliver groceries and home goods using drones, but admitted that it will take “some time.”
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