The FAA has issued their long-awaited final rule about drone use by real estate agents, and NAR is pleased with the overall outcome. The rule will lead to more predictability in the market for drone-based services and will create a broader base of trained operators and service providers. Specifically, the new rule includes the following 5 items:
- Education Provision: New certification for ‘remote pilot in command’ authority which is less burdensome than a pilot’s license. The test is administered at the FAA testing centers and is knowledge-based only. The cost is about $150, and will take about 20 hours of study time to prepare for. The test itself is 3 hours long. Operators will still need to pass a background check performed by the TSA.
- Flight Operations Permitted: Flights may be conducted during daylight hours, within visual line of sight, not directly over non-participants, altitude limit 400’, and 100 MPH max speed.
- Provisions for flight over non-participants will be addressed in the next rulemaking, microUAS, which was the subject of the March 2016 Aviation rulemaking committee.
- Daylight-only operations, or civil twilight (30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset, local time) with appropriate anti-collision lighting.
- Requirements: Many of the operational requirements can be waived, which leaves room for innovation and experimentation with the technology.
- Bystander Notice: No provisions for notice to bystanders. This could present problems for operations in more dense areas, but REALTORS® can work with UAS service provider to find a solution.
- Effective Date: Rule will go into effect in August 2016.