Proposed Rules for Small Unmanned Aerial Systems

Proposed Rules for Small Unmanned Aerial Systems

The FAA have released their proposed rules for commercial small unmanned aerial systems, including that these aircraft weigh less than 55 pounds, only be operated in daylight and always via line of sight. The FAA will also require operators to be certified with a small UAS rating and pass an aeronautical test every 2 years. These proposed rules seem reasonable for commercial UAVs, but we think RC models should continue to be exempt! See the full proposed rules here:

FAA proposed rulemaking1

FAA proposed rulemaking2

Updated: February 19, 2015 — 11:04 AM


  1. I am a private pilot and also I guess in the terms of the above an “operator”. Frankly, I think that this is overdone for the RC Model Aircraft that I fly. I think that there should be a proviso that states that as long as the operator is flying at an airfield that is certified by the AMA, that these rules are null and should continue to specify that full sized aircraft should consider the airspace above these locations to be restricted air space!

  2. Non commercial flyers are exempt from most of these rules. Engadget yesterday did a good job of breaking up the differences in rules between hobby and commercial use.

  3. Including radio controlled MODEL AIRPLANES in this category would be especially damaging to the great hobby and totally unnecessary as they are most often flown at controlled club flying sites!

  4. Does this mean that no one under 17 would be allowed to fly an RC plane of any kind? That would completely remove many starting modelers from any access to the sport during the very years they often start!

  5. These proposed rules are for commercial use of multi-rotors or sUAS and do not apply to our hobby.

    1. Thank you for the highlight. I didn’t catch that and my blood was starting to boil. That one part changed my perspective a bit. For commercial use only I am not opposed to some these as guidelines. However it is a bit to tight.

  6. If you visit (more specifically,, you will see an exemption for small models operated exclusively for hobby.

  7. Does not comply,with Model Aviation rules,as specified,by the AMA,Model Aviation,should be exempt.

  8. I don’t know what is this the FAA released yesterday but is sure not proposed rules. This is an analysis. A “Summary of Major Provisions” not a proposed rule. This can change completely if they wish. Again, this is not a proposed rule as it lacks the sections and verbiage of regulations. Don’t be fooled.

  9. FAA please read the guidelines that AMA goes by.

  10. Tim Johnson is right, this would not apply to model aircraft BELOW 55 lbs. I can only see a problem for the Jet guys, any plane that flies faster than 100mph and Night Flight. I’m sure you guys have read Section 336:

  11. Night flight is a must.
    Navigational lights make the aircraft just a safe as day flight.

  12. Let’s see, most of my models easily fly faster then 100mph and sometimes, over 500ft. I don’t care what “rules” are put into place, I will enjoy the hobby, safely, and I will have fun doing it. Either you can give up your freedoms a little at a time, or you can actually stand up for what is right, I choose to stand for what is right and I will not comply with any “rules” that further restrict me from enjoying the hobby safely.

  13. Seems to me these proposed rules do not apply to model aircraft flown under the definitions in Public Law 112-95, signed into law in 2012 by President Obama, section 336, which happens to be an amazingly brief and simple paragraph in a very long, wordy document. That seems to be covered by the last sentence, enabling the FAA to retain enforcement authority against MA flyers who do endanger human carrying aircraft in the National Airspace.
    The law seems to exempt most of us, while still leaving open possible action against dunderheads who fly dangerously, like the idiots some years back who flew into a Goodyear Blimp.
    I still haven’t figured out how the situation applies to those of us who also still fly control line and free flight, though. CL planes never intentionally go outside visual range, although some do exceed the 100 mph speed limit. And even with dethermalizers, Free Flight models can exceed the 500′ altitude and line of sight limitations.

  14. I’m going to stand up for my rights to fly safely and have fun with it. Its them multi roter. People u should blame. There the ones who are screwing it all up for all for us. Oh but they think its so cool to break the rules. Or the rules don’t apply to there multi roter. Craft. I hear it all the time how the multi roter crafts are fucking it up for the rest of us. I think they should stops making them stupid thing. There not fun to fly in the first place so the people who f!us them they start breaking the rules. I’m going g to start turning them in when I see them breaking the rules. And I say and you guys who are made at this you should see if you are the ones are breaking the rules. And stop it. And start turning in the damn dumb assess in. This the only way we can fight back………

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