New rules for drones makes it easier for commercial use

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)– Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or drones are gaining popularity.

New Federal Aviation Administration regulations are a step towards making the technology more mainstream and accessible to various industries. Soon, flying drones won’t be limited to licensed pilots.

The FAA is replacing that with a knowledge test and certificate specific to flying a drone. Candidates must be over 16 and vetted by the Transportation Security Administration.

Tim Handley, owner of Fly Guys drone services in Lafayette says the new regulation is good for business. “I think it’s fantastic.  The best drone pilots in terms of skill of flying the drone happen to be the hobbyists because they have a passion for it it, they’ve been doing it for forever…You’re going to have many more pilots capable of flying commercially and that’s going to make the price go down for actually retaining a pilot.”

Industries from agriculture to oil and gas can benefit from drone technology.  “It’ll just make a variety of operations easier, safer, more impactful from marketing to inspections and surveying.”

Drones are the new frontier in aviation and the sky is the limit, 400 feet to be exact…A regulation Handley and others hope the FAA changes in the future.  “I was a volunteer firefighter (at one point) and the number of applications where we could’ve used a drone in some of the operations we performed.  It just staggers my imagination.  There’s some challenges to get that implemented but once we jump over those hurdles they’re going to save lives and minimize damage.

The regulations go into effect August 29th 2016.

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