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FAA Operations Over People Overview

The Operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Over People final rule is the next incremental step towards further integration of unmanned aircraft (UA) in the National Airspace System. The final rule allows routine operations over people and routine operations at night under certain circumstances. The rule will eliminate the need for typical operations to receive individual part 107 certificate of waivers from the FAA.

The rule was published in the Federal Register on January 15, 2021. Corrections to the final rule were published in the Federal Register on March 10, 2021 delaying the effective date from March 16, 2021 to April 21, 2021.”

“In June 2016, the FAA published remote pilot certification and operating rules for civil small unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds. Those rules did not permit small unmanned aircraft operations at night or over people without a waiver. On February 13, 2019, the FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) titled Operation of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems over People, which proposed to modify these regulations to permit routine operations of small unmanned aircraft over people and at night under certain conditions. The FAA received over 900 comments to the NPRM by the closing of the comment period on April 15, 2019.”

“As technology improves and the utility of small UAS for activities that previously required manned aircraft increases, the FAA anticipates an increased demand for flexibility in small UAS operations. This rulemaking is one of a number of regulatory steps the FAA is taking to allow for this growth.”

“This final rule amends part 107 by permitting routine operations of small unmanned aircraft over people, moving vehicles, and at night under certain conditions. It also changes the recurrent training framework, expands the list of persons who may request the presentation of a remote pilot certificate, and makes other minor changes.”