Central New York, Technology

Drone Training Companies Are Building New Courses For The New Drone Rule

The FAA said the safe integration of unmanned aircraft is multi-faceted, and their approach will be as nimble as the technology itself. © 2016 Zhiyan Zhong

By Zhiyan Zhong Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News) — Some drone training companies are now busy making new courses to meet the upcoming small UAS rule.

According the FAA’s proposal, people will no longer need a pilot license to operate drones commercially. Instead, anyone who flies drones will have to pass an aeronautical knowledge writing test.

“We are currently building a course that will help you pass that test, ” said Abby Speicher, the CEO of DARTdrones, a company that offers drone training around the country. “It doesn’t involve flying a drone at all. It’s more about basic aviation knowledge and understanding of the weather, air traffic control and radio communication.”

Under the current FAA regulations, people who fly drones for hobby or recreational purposes do not have to hold a pilot license, but the owners of drones that weigh between 0.55 and 55 pounds need to register online before flying.

“Anyone operating a drone commercially has to have authorization from the FAA, normally via a Section 333 exemption grant,” the FAA Media Spokesperson Les Dorr said. “Currently, a drone pilot must have a recreational or sport pilot license.”

Speicher said the new rule would make flying drones easier, but she did not think this would bring negative impacts to her drone training business.

“People finally have a regulation that allows them to fly drones,” Speicher said. “So we just see the group of people who are using drones grow very quickly.”

According to Dorr, the FAA expects the small UAS rule to be final in late spring.