It’s been a long hard self-imposed road for the FAA in deciding how drones can be used in a commercial setting, but they’ve finally settled on regulations that will guide drone usage into the future.  

We’ve done a few posts on drones before, particularly in reference to their usage with various insurance companies. Despite the infancy of the technology, it’s innovative commercial use for companies that require accurate readings of roof damage encompasses a number of advantages such as ease of use, time, and safety.

Unfortunately, the FAA has taken its sweet time recognizing the advantages to this technology, though that may be more because drones have gotten to the point where they can ascend high enough to run into air traffic.

Either way, it’s good the FAA finally settled on some guidelines for the use of drones.

If you’re wondering what they are, you can find a full breakdown here. Here are some points we found interesting:

  • Unmanned aircraft must weigh less than 55 lbs.
  • Daylight-only operations, or civil twilight (30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset, local time) with appropriate anti-collision lighting.
  • Maximum groundspeed of 100 mph (87 knots).
  • Maximum altitude of 400 feet above ground level (AGL) or, if higher than 400 feet AGL, remain within 400 feet of a structure.
  • External load operations are allowed if the object being carried by the unmanned aircraft is securely attached and does not adversely affect the flight characteristics or controllability of the aircraft.
  • A person operating a small UAS must either hold a remote pilot airman certificate with a small UAS rating or be under the direct supervision of a person who does hold a remote pilot certificate (remote pilot in command).
  • FAA airworthiness certification is not required. However, the remote pilot in command must conduct a preflight check of the small UAS to ensure that it is in a condition for safe operation.

What do you think? Will these guidelines help or hinder companies looking to use drone technology to help with scoping for roof insurance claims?