US relaxes commercial drone rules 

A new rule surrounding commercial use of drones in the US could set the tone for future business in the UK.

Issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the rule came into effect on 29 August. One of its key changes saw the introduction of new written flight exams in place of the lengthy process of applying for waivers in order to fly for commercial purposes.

There are still limitations. The drones must weigh no more than 55lbs, must fly during daylight hours and are not permitted to enter the vicinity of any people or structures that are not related to the commercial UAV job.

However, globally based drone consultants ConsortiQ welcomes these rule changes and speculates what similar amendments could mean for businesses in Britain.

Ben Keene, operations director, said, ‘Many American businesses have been struggling to keep up with their growing client demands for services that use a drone, with the strict rules set out by the FAA making it time consuming and cumbersome to get the required accreditation needed to use this technology legally for commercial purposes. This new Part 107 rule is an important step forward in helping American businesses to innovate, and will certainly pave the way for many more creative, and potentially life-saving uses of a drone to become apparent.

‘As American companies get to grips with these new regulations, we can’t help but wonder what similar rules would also mean for UK businesses. We specialise in helping organisations in many industries realise the huge commercial opportunities that a drone can offer – introducing a rule, similar to the Part 107 released by the FAA, might just help to make these opportunities become a reality much sooner.’