The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted several new operating rules for the commercial use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)—most commonly known as drones. These new rules go into effect August 2016 and are covered by the FAA's 333 Exemption and the Small UAS Rule (14CFR part 107). I have summarized a few of the main changes taking place in August; along with our initiatives.
Part 107 new rule highlights:
- A 333 Exemption is no longer needed
- An operator can be certified for 24 months rather the previously required pilot's license
- A drone may be flown by the certified operator without a visual observer
- The drone must be registered with the FAA
- The drone must weigh less than 55 pounds
- The vehicle must be visual in line of site
- Altitude of the drone cannot exceed 400 feet
- Flying can only take place during daylight hours
- Maximum ground speed cannot exceed 100 mph
- The drone cannot fly over a person not directly operating or participating in the flight
*The details of the new rules are located at the end of this post.
The new rules remove a large number of restrictions for commercial use and makes the technology more available for many industries. It will be exciting to see the possibilities that will soon be discovered.
With the announcement of the new rules, CIS Group will certainly revisit our current initiatives.
CIS Group's Drone Initiative
In late 2015, CIS Group formally applied for the FAA 333 Exemption to commercially operate drones to determine the applications and value of this technology for underwriting and claims operations. The CIS Group 333 Exemption application has been awaiting approval from the FAA like so many other applicants. With the announcement of the Part 107 rule, it is likely that we will pursue approval under the new guidelines.
The attached video below is a test flight with a drone over the roof of a home near our home office Texas.
The goal of the CIS Group drone initiative is to help determine the viability of using drone technology within our underwriting inspection, high-value appraisal, and claims divisions. It is important for us to identify the practical uses for this technology, as well as help identify the risk and challenges that will certainly follow. How will the industry handle the following challenges?
- Privacy concerns
- Safety risk of a 55lb object flying through the sky up to speeds of 100 mph
- Customer education
- Possible complaints
- Cost to operate
These are only a few of the risks that need to be addressed as the industry moves forward but I am can assure you that the next 18-24 months will be an exciting time as the new rules on commercial drone use change.
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Until next time,
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Summary of Small Unmanned Aircraft Rule (Part 107)
|Remote Pilot in Command Certification and Responsibilities||
A remote pilot in command must:
A remote pilot in command may deviate from the requirements of this rule in response to an in-flight emergency.