The Next Generation of Unmanned Flight

More and more businesses are employing drones to undertake various jobs that were previously impossible or cost-prohibitive to do from the air. Drones are being used in the construction, engineering, agriculture, media, and environmental industries for tasks such as developing 3D renderings of buildings on specific sites, inspecting pipelines and crops, and garnering aerial footage of historic events.

If your business hires an independent drone operator or purchases a drone for an employee to operate, be sure the operator and the drone follow the rules set by the Federal Aviation Administration that apply to Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for commercial use. For example:

  • The operator must have a Remote Pilot Airman Certificate and have passed TSA vetting.
  • The UAS must be registered if it weighs over 0.55 lbs and must also pass a pre-flight check.
  • The aircraft must remain within visual line-of-sight. It must fly under 400 feet and at or below 100 mph and can only be flown during the day.

The FAA's drone app is available to download here, which provides real-time information about airspace restrictions and flying requirements.

In addition to verifying that the drone and operator comply with all applicable laws, you should also consider liability issues. Are you and the operator covered by insurance for drone-related damages? Check with your insurance agent for additional coverage recommendations if necessary.

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