Federal drone law to take effect Monday

New rules regulating the commercial use of drones, created by the Federal Aviation Administration, go into effect Monday.

Albert Sarvis, Assistant Professor of Geospatial Technology at Harrisburg University said drones risen in popularity.

“The drones we’re talking about are typically the 4 to 8 rotor, smaller, less than 55 pounds with a battery life between twenty minutes and an hour that can fly at low altitudes,” Sarvis said.

Monday it will be a lot easier to fly them legally under new laws put forth by the Federal Aviation Administration

The new laws won’t affect recreational flying, but for those hoping to fly drones commercially.

Commercial flyers will need a remote pilot certificate and a Transportation Security Administration background check.

“From an academic standpoint and from a mapping and Geospatial standpoint that I am trying to teach my students it’s a huge boom for them. Now the number of new jobs and ability for them to use this technology to be able to offer that additional skill in the Geospatial technology realm is a really big thing for us,” Jarvis said.

Before, you needed a pilot license and an exemption from the FAA if you wanted to use them to make money. That could have taken several months and several thousand dollars to become a private pilot.

“If you want to go down to best buy and buy a drone right now you could be flying this afternoon,” Sarvis said.

The drone can’t weigh more than 55 pounds, fly higher than 400 feet, and must remain visible at all times.

“The last thing we want to do is have a drone bring down another type of plane or helicopter,” Sarvis said.

All drones must be registered before they are flown.

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