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The FAA says it’s now cool for drones to fly at night and over people

This will be huge for companies looking into drone deliveries.

Ups drone in flight
Image: UPS

Companies continue to look for more ways to implement drones into their businesses and now, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is loosening some of its restrictions towards drone operators.

From Reuters, the FAA will soon allow operators to fly at night and over people in certain circumstances. This is a huge step for companies like Amazon and Walmart who are trialing delivery services using unmanned aerial vehicles.

Previously, these types of operations required day-time flights and flight paths that didn’t take the drone over people not in stationary vehicles or in buildings and covered areas. Special waivers could be obtained to allow for more freedom, but these new rules should help lower the number of special waivers needed.

Reuters notes that the new rules are a bit complicated and still have restrictions, such as night-flying machines being required to have anti-collision lighting on the drone. There are also certain circumstances that will allow drones to fly over moving vehicles.

Alongside these new rules, the FAA is also implementing a new identification system that drone makers will have to follow in 2021. Called Remote ID, it will allow drones to be identified from the ground. Think of it as a digital license plate. It will be required for drones weighing over half a pound.

The new rules will be published in the federal register in January and will go into effect 60 days after that. Manufacturers will need to implement Remote ID in their unmanned aerial vehicles over the next 18 months, with pilots having “an additional year to provide Remote ID,” according to Reuters.

What do you think? Glad to see the FAA updating its rules on commercial use? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Former KnowTechie editor.

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