On Feb. 13, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to allow the operation of small unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, at night and over people under certain conditions without obtaining a waiver. If finalized, the proposal would amend the FAA’s 2016 final rule, which set standards for operation and operator certification for non-recreational use of drones weighing less than 55 pounds.

According to the FAA, the proposal aims to further integrate drones safely into the national airspace system and attempts to balance the need to mitigate safety risks without inhibiting technological and operational advances. The amendments would allow expanded drone operations and reduce the knowledge testing burden on remote pilot in command certificate holders. The 2019 proposal addresses some of the concerns ABC expressed in its 2015 comments regarding the FAA proposed rule on drones.

FAA is soliciting public feedback on the proposed rule. The deadline for submitting comments is April 15, 2019.

More information on FAA’s recent drone initiatives can be found on its website.