The Federal Aviation Administration expects to finalize regulations allowing commercial drone operations within a year, a senior FAA official told a congressional panel on Wednesday.Legislation & Regulation
"The rule will be in place within a year," FAA Deputy Administrator Michael Whitaker said in testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Such a timeline would allow for drone operators to get off the ground months earlier than previous forecasts that had anticipated final regulations by the end of 2016 or the beginning of 2017.
In February, the FAA proposed regulations that would allow drones to fly during daylight hours, within an operator’s visual line of sight and at altitudes of no more than 500 feet (152 meters).
FAA officials are in discussions with industry stakeholders and others about final regulations that could accommodate more sophisticated drone systems capable of flying autonomously over longer distances.