The Federal Aviation Administration plans to issue draft regulations governing commercial use of small unmanned aerial systems by the end of this year, Aviation International News reported Friday.
Bill Carey writes that flight rules for larger commercial drones will follow after industry finishes technical standards related to UAS collision warning and avoidance systems.
Current FAA policies require private operators to apply for a special airworthiness certificate before flying drones in unrestricted airspace, according to Carey.
That UAS certificate is intended only for research and development, market surveys and crew training activities.
However, a provision in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act authorizes the federal transportation secretary to determine whether certain drones can operate in national airspace prior to FAA’s safety rules issuance, according to AIN.
Carey reports the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics, or RTCA, is working on drones’ command-and-control and detect-and-avoid standards.