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New FAA Drone Rules to Impact Agriculture

September 8, 2016

In June, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) finalized the first operational rules for routine commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones) under 55 pounds. These rules went into effect on August 29, 2016. The rules have defined the requirements for using drones to monitor crops and livestock. To use a drone to assist in farm operation, one must understand and comply with these provisions.Specifically, farmers planning on using drones for agricultural purposes must obtain the proper license or “remote pilot certification” which requires the operator to meet certain eligibility requirements, pass a knowledge test and complete the application process. Furthermore, there are pre-flight and post-flight requirements, as well as operating rules that one must follow. The FAA will have enforcement authority over the new regulations.

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