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New FAA rules put drone delivery closer to reality

December 30, 2020

Long-awaited regulations released Monday by the Federal Aviation Administration represent a big step toward wide-scale commercial use of drones in the U.S., including for package and cargo delivery, and full integration into the national airspace.

The rules require unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to broadcast identification or location information and allow operators of small drones to fly over people and vehicles, and at night under certain conditions. The next major step toward integration is developing rules for beyond-visual-line-of-sight operations, which currently require a waiver.

Remote ID is the equivalent of a digital license plate for drones. It includes the drone’s serial number or a unique flight ID number; the latitude, longitude and altitude of the unmanned aircraft and the control station; emergency status; and a time reference.

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