New Drone Operations Over People Rule Effective Today

April 21, 2021

Final FAA rules take effect today for remotely identifying drones and allowing operators of small drones to fly over people and at night under certain conditions.

The FAA's revised Operations Over People rule is effective today. Remote pilots operating under Part 107 may fly at night, over people and moving vehicles without a waiver as long as they meet the requirements defined in the rule. Airspace authorizations are still required for night operations in controlled airspace under 400 feet.

Currently, the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) only allows for approval of daytime authorizations, however, the system will be expanded to allow night authorizations by fall 2021. In the interim, night authorizations at or below the approved altitude in the UAS Facility Maps will consist of two separate authorizations that combined, allow UAS pilots to fly at night:

  1. Daytime authorization
  2. National Authorization: extends the duration of a daytime LAANC authorization to allow nighttime operations for the same date indicated on the daytime LAANC authorization

The Operations Over People rule applies to pilots who fly under Part 107 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. Under this rule, the ability to fly over people and over moving vehicles varies depending on the level of risk (PDF) a small drone poses to people on the ground. Additionally, this rule allows operations at night under certain conditions provided pilots complete certain training or pass knowledge tests.

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Note: All proposed flights on Princeton property are subject to the University's policies and procedures.