February 15th, 2016
Peter’s article says:
On February 11, 2016, Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis introduced an innovative Micro Drone amendment to the AIRR Act, which is the latest FAA Reauthorization Act. The amendment creates a new “Micro UAS Classification” of unmanned aircraft systems, and would permit non-hobbyists to operate the smallest and the safest drones under regulations that are safety-oriented, but contain simplified and streamlined requirements and restrictions. The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee voted to accept the Micro Drone amendment and approved the entire AIRR Act, as amended.
The significance of this development to real estate UAS flyers is that this new “Micro UAS Classification” will apply to UASs 2 kg (4.4 lbs) or less, which from the research that I’ve done is the majority of Drones being used by real estate photographers/videographers (except for large UASs carrying full-size DSLRs). That is, apparently all DJI’s are all 1280 grams (2.8 lbs) or less, well within the Micro UAS classification. Thanks to Greg Utton for straightening me out on DJI weights – I was looking at weights from Amazon which are not correct or are shipping weights and are all over 4.4 lbs.
However, this potential giant step forward for small drone pilots is just a small piece of HR 4441 (the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act (AIRR) act of 2016) which is legislation that would privatize and modernize the US air traffic control system and redefine the FAA as we know it. This bill has yet to pass the House and Senate, let alone be signed into law. Who knows if HR 4441 will ever make it into law or how long it will take!