FAA drone rules to address aircraft
certification and operation
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[December 01, 2014]
By Amanda Becker
(Reuters) - U.S. aviation officials have
seen hundreds of cases in which unmanned aircraft may have posed a
danger to planes, and new rules on drones expected this year are
designed to prevent collisions and other accidents, the top aviation
official said on Sunday.
"The thing that we are most concerned about is to ensure that any
aircraft in this system do not come into conflict with one another,"
Michael Huerta, who leads the Federal Aviation Administration, said
on CNN's "State of the Union."
The new FAA rules on drones, expected this year, will address how
drones are certified, the purposes for which they can be used and
who is qualified to operate them, Huerta said.
Huerta said the FAA has enforced hundreds of cases "where we have
seen someone operating one of these things carelessly or recklessly,
posing a danger to aircraft."
On at least 25 occasions since June 1, pilots have reported drones
nearly colliding with larger aircraft, the FAA revealed in a report
Huerta said the FAA has been working with clubs to educate people
about proper drone use. Hobbyists who fly drones mostly follow the
same rules as when using a model aircraft - flying no higher than
400 feet, not near an airport and always maintaining line of sight.
Drones are expected to be a popular holiday gift this year.
The National Transportation Safety Board this month confirmed the
FAA had the authority to apply its "reckless or careless" standard
to a drone, bolstering the FAA's position that it can regulate
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Huerta said that the FAA, in crafting its rules related to unmanned
aircraft under 55 pounds, is weighing the interests of those who
would like to begin using drones for commercial purposes against
those of airline pilots, who are concerned that drone aircraft can
be difficult to see.
(Reporting By Amanda Becker; editing by Doina Chiacu and Rosalind
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