FAA propose new rules for drone use - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

FAA propose new rules for drone use

By Meghan McRoberts

LANTANA, FL (WFLX) - The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed new rules for drone use that could make the unmanned aircrafts a more common sight in the sky.

Some of the newly proposed rules include limiting flight heights, making sure the drones are always in sight by the controller, not flying at night, and limiting the weight of a drone.

Some rules, however, make it easier for someone to be allowed air time. That includes requiring a certification rather than a commercial pilot's license.

Hadley Doyle and her husband own SkyWords Advertising in Lantana. Their company flies planes with advertising banners along the coast. They also take aerial pictures and videos of various events around the state.

Now, they want to be able to save money by grounding some of their planes, and putting up a drone it their place.

They've been using drones for months without the ability to make a profit. "We can not use them for commercial use which means that we can not make any kind of money or monetary trade value for them," Doyle said.

She's filed for an exemption that would allow her to operate a drone commercially.

Mark Asselin has also filed for an exemption. He's a software developer for drones for Voler Inc. "There are so many industries that are going to benefit from drones," Asselin said.

He wants to be involved in using drones in place of people to survey tall buildings and towers. "If [a drone] breaks, it's a couple thousand dollars. It's a far cry from having a human getting themselves hurt or killed," Asselin said.

He's not a commercial pilot and says that was always a roadblock in moving forward with his drone use. Newly proposed rules would require a couple hundred dollars, a test and a certification. "It's very different in my opinion to be flying physically than to be flying this thing around," Asselin said.

That is one of Doyle's main concerns with the new rules. "We're commercial pilots at the end of the day and we understand what a bird in the air can do to our plane let alone a drone," Doyle said.

Both are glad to see innovation moving forward.

Doyle hopes too many people don't get their hands on a controller. "It's finding that balance between safety and the usefulness of it."

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