AUBURN, AL (WSFA) - They are the wave of the future: Unmanned aircraft systems, also known as drones, are becoming so popular that the FAA has recently implemented new rules and regulations about who can fly them, and when and where they can fly.
Auburn University is on the cutting edge. Their Auburn's Aviation Center was the first in the country to receive FAA authorization to operate a UAS flight school and federally approved testing center. And now it's adapting its program to comply with the new FAA regulations.
As of August 29, the FAA says a UAS must weigh less than 55 pounds. It must remain in the visual line-of-sight of its operator and may not operate over any persons not directly participating in the operation. The FAA also now requires daylight-only operations 30 minutes before official sunrise and 30 minutes after officials l sunset.
Operating a drone for any commercial purpose requires a certificate saying you've passed an initial aeronautical knowledge test. The new FAA regulations also require all drones to be registered.
The new regulations went into effect August 29. It's expected more than two million people across the country will be testing for that certification by the end of the year.