<p>Depending on what category you fall into the relevant FAA regulations differ. Whichever catagory you fall into, however, the B4UFly cellphone application and website are highly useful tools. An interactive map showing allowed flying areas is also available <a href="http://knowbeforeyoufly.org/air-space-map/" rel="nofollow">here</a>.</p>
<p>Note: All information provided here serves only as a preliminary guide, all drone/UAS operators are fully responsible for determining what regulations are relevant for their own purposes and undertaking to follow such. FAA regulations in full are available from their website <a href="https://www.faa.gov/uas/" rel="nofollow">here</a>.</p>
<p><img alt="enter image description here" src="https://mfr.osf.io/export?url=https://osf.io/qdy75/?action=download&direct&mode=render&initialWidth=836&childId=mfrIframe&format=200x200.jpeg"> </p>
<p><img alt="enter image description here" src="https://mfr.osf.io/export?url=https://osf.io/q38ns/?action=download&direct&mode=render&initialWidth=836&childId=mfrIframe&format=450x450.jpeg"></p>
<p>The FAA defines a hobbyist as: ”Operation of an unmanned aircraft for personal interests and enjoyment.” This is the least restrictive category and broadly only requires the following:
- Registration of owner and all UAS
weighing between 0.55 and 55 pounds. ($25, <a href="http://federaldroneregistration" rel="nofollow">here</a>)
- Adherence to a maximum altitude of 400ft
- Maintenance of visual line of site at all times.
- Operators check and follow all local privacy laws.
- Never fly over unprotected or uninvolved persons or moving vehicles
- UAS remain at least 25 feet away from all structures.
- Operators contact airports and control towers before flying within five miles of an airport or heliport.
- May only fly within 30min of sunset and sunrise.</p>
<p>Again registration of hobbiest UAS is available online <a href="http://federaldroneregistration.com/" rel="nofollow">here</a>.</p>
<p>Commercial operation of UAS includes any paid for service. Currently this includes any academic research done by paid staff. <a href="http://federaldroneregistration.com/" rel="nofollow">This memo</a> outlines how this applies to research staff but not students. </p>
<p>Commercial operation os UAS is currently (August 2016) governed by SMALL UNMANNED AIRCRAFT RULE PART 107. A summary of which is available <a href="https://www.faa.gov/uas/media/Part_107_Summary.pdf" rel="nofollow">here</a>. We strongly advise reading the full document also available <a href="https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/06/28/2016-15079/operation-and-certification-of-small-unmanned-aircraft-systems" rel="nofollow">here</a>, but in brief the highlights include the following requirements:
- An operator must have a remote pilot operators license. This is a written test which must be overseen by a FAA approved testing centre. This test is set to become available for taking on the 29 August 2016. A list of testing centres is available <a href="https://www.faa.gov/training_testing/testing/media/test_centers.pdf" rel="nofollow">here</a>.
- Must also adhere to all of the hobbyist guidelines. However, waivers for some aspects, such as maintaining visual line of site, and daytime flight only, may be applied for.
- Must adhere to additional requirements as set out in Part 107.</p>
<p>As indicated, in July 2016 the FAA released a <a href="http://federaldroneregistration.com/" rel="nofollow">memorandum</a> clarifying academic UAS use. In brief, paid for staff must have a commercial license as outlined above. However, students may operate UAS in accordance with section 336 of the FMRA, in furtherance of his or her
education. Faculty teaching such students may assist, provided the faculty member’s manipulation of the craft is incidental and secondary to the students.</p>
<p>If you are planning on traveling with your UAS it is important to note that all LiPo batteries must travel with you in carry-on luggage, be in a discharged state, and be in a protective case (such a LiPo bag). <a href="https://osf.io/wfqyv/" rel="nofollow">This</a> document provides more details.</p>