The Federal Aviation Administration recently issued final rules requiring remote identification of Unmanned Aerial Systems (“UAS” aka drones) and allowing flight over people, moving vehicles, and at night under certain conditions. The final rules went into effect on April 21, 2021. 

The Remote ID rule requires the UAS and its control center, or place of takeoff, to be remotely identifiable while the UAS is in flight. The Operations Over People rule allows pilots to fly UAS over people and at night, if the UAS has appropriate anti-collision lighting. The rule splits the various types of UAS into four categories based on the risk level of flying over people. UAS under 0.55 pounds are considered the safest and may fly over people if the pilot complies with the Remote ID Rule and the UAS does not have any exposed rotating parts. UAS over 0.55 pounds are split into three other categories based on UAS operating requirements. All UAS pilots must complete a training course and pass an updated knowledge test to use this new rule. Prior to these changes, a pilot had to request and apply for a waiver to fly at night or over people.

Read more: National Law Review