Personal drone use is still widely unregulated, however the proverbial tide appears to be turning. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) oversees U.S. airspace, and provides guidelines for non-commercial users. Personal drone use has dramatically increased over the last few years, resulting in a closer look at how, when, and where quadcopters should be used. All model aircrafts for business use in the United States are subject to FAA regulation at this time.
“Government and industry face significant challenges as unmanned aircraft move into the aviation mainstream,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a 2013 statement.
So what are the guidelines for personal drone flight? Let’s check it out:
The FAA Statement
The FAA regulations on personal drone use:
“Users are advised to avoid noise sensitive areas such as parks, schools, hospitals, and churches. Hobbyists are advised not to fly in the vicinity of spectators until they are confident that the model aircraft has been flight tested and proven airworthy.
Model aircraft should be flown below 400 feet above the surface to avoid other aircraft in flight. The FAA expects that hobbyists will operate these recreational model aircraft within visual line-of-sight.”
In other words, the drone must remain in your line of sight at all times.
Drones are also regulated at the state level, making it necessary to review what your state says about quadcopter use before you take yours for a spin.
“Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft”
The FAA released its Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft document on June 23, 2014. The document was open for commenting until July 25, 2014, and outlines statutory requirements regarding model aircrafts.