FAA Reauthorization Act 2018 Changes Recreational Drone Flying Requiremets:
The ARRL Letter
July 11, 2019
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FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 Changes Recreational Drone Flying Requirements:
The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018
includes changes to recreational drone flying
https://www.faa.gov/uas/recreational_fliers/ in the US. Radio
amateurs have used drones to inspect antenna systems and terrain and to
carry support lines aloft, as well as for other purposes. The FAA
considers those who fly their drones for fun as recreational users. The
FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 describes how, when, and where owners
may fly drones for recreational purposes. These broad guidelines should
apply to most Amateur Radio users of drones.
https://faadronezone.faa.gov/#/ as a "modeler." A
registrant must be at least 13 years old and a US citizen or legal
your model aircraft with your registration number.
- Fly only for recreational purposes.
- Follow the safety guidelines of a community-based organization (see
- Fly your drone at or below 400 feet when in uncontrolled or Class G
airspace, and do not fly it in airspace where flight is prohibited.
- Keep your drone within your line of sight or within the line-of-sight
of a visual observer who is co-located and in direct communication with
- Never fly near other aircraft, especially near airports.
- Never fly over groups of people, public events, or stadiums full of
- Never fly near emergencies such as any type of accident response, law
enforcement activities, firefighting, or hurricane recovery efforts.
- Never fly under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Recreational flyers who intentionally violate any of these safety
requirements and/or operate in a careless and reckless manner could be
liable for criminal and/or civil penalties. Read
the Authorization for limited recreational operations as described in
Section 44809 (PDF). All limited recreational operations should be
conducted in accordance with this authorization.
For more information, read Advisory Circular 91-57B
The FAA is upgrading the online system, known as LAANC (the Low
Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability), so that
recreational operations can get automated airspace authorizations to
fly in controlled airspace.
The new law also will require that drone operators pass an online
aeronautical knowledge and safety test and carry proof of test passage.
The FAA is developing the test in consultation with stakeholders.
Recreational flyers would have to pass the test, which could be
administered electronically. The FAA will provide additional guidance
and will notify when the test is available. The FAA also will issue
guidance for how it will recognize community-based organizations.
More detailed information
about the FAA's plan to fully implement the requirements of Section 349
of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 is available in the Federal
The ARRL Letter
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