The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released the “Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems” final rule for non-hobby and non-recreational purposes today. Read on for a brief summary. The whole summary of part 107 is here. The rules take effect in 60 days.

Highlights of part 107

The rule includes UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) that weigh less than 55 pounds (25kg.) These aircraft may not be used over crowds of people not involved in its operation. Drones my not be operated inside a covered structure or stationary vehicle. UAV operators must be at least 16 years old and have a remote pilot certificate with a small UAV rating or be directly supervised by a person with one.

Time of day

UAV’s may be operated 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset. These times are called civil twilight.

Visual rules

The operator of a UAV (A.K.A a drone) must keep it in visual line-of-sight without any visual aids other than corrective lenses for vision. (A.K.A. glasses or contacts.) UAV operators may use a visual observer although it is not required. Again, no binoculars allowed. Point-Of-View (POV) cameras are not allowed for control of the drone because they do not satisfy “see-and-avoid” requirements. They can be used for other purposes than actual flight operations. A POV camera can be used to capture motion or still images for instance. UAV’s must yield the right of way to other aircraft. The minimum weather visibility for drone fights is three miles from the control station.

Speed & altitude

UAV’s must remain under 100 miles per hour or 87 knots. The maximum altitude is 400 feet above ground level (AGL.) Or, if higher than 400 feet, it must remain within 400 feet of a structure.


Drone may be flown in class G airspace without permission from air traffic control (ATC.) Operations in B, C, D and E airspace are allowed with the required ATC permission.

Press Release

The FAA’s press release also covers age, operating certificates, drone safety requirements, information on privacy. The FAA will also issue guidelines to state and local governments on drone privacy.


As the testing requirements for certification and other information is made available, Photofocus will be posting about it to keep our readers up to date.