FAA leaks Proposed Regulatory Evaluation regarding Unmanned Aircraft


    UPDATE: The FAA just posted a press release featuring the following articles expanding on the leaked document we mention below:

    The following link shows the summary version of the “Notice to Proposed Rulemaking”.

    The DOT & FAA Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in all of its 195 page glory can be viewed here.

    Additionally an Unmanned Aircraft Systems Fact Sheet is viewable here.


    Good news for quadcopter and other multi-rotor pilots. The FAA accidentally posted a pdf which details their “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regulatory Evaluation”. Steve Zeets is the lucky person who happened to be on the FAA website at the instant it was available online and happened to open the pdf as it was being pulled off the website. Luckily for all of us he saved a copy before losing the only “copy” available. The document was in draft form in February, so who knows what has changed since then, nevertheless it’s an interesting look into the FAA’s view Unmanned Aircraft Regulation which will affect all quadcopters, and other multirotors. All i can say i’m surely not the only one happily surprised by whats outlined in the 89 page document. Especially since currently for commercial use you need to be a holder of a PP-ASEL (Private Pilot-Airplane Single Engine Land) License. I had always thought that knowing the different classes of airspace and other rules of the air was probably a good thing for quadcopter pilots to know, but requiring them to know how to land a Cessna 152 or 172 didn’t quite make sense. Read on down for interesting quotes from the document, as well as a link to view it yourself. To not miss important updates such as these be sure to join our newsletter.

    Gregory S. McNeal wrote a great article on Forbes detailing some of the points featured in the document:

    • The FAA believes that quads and other multirotors will provide a large benefit
    • They won’t require a commercial pilots license
    • Instead of grouping and regulating drones in different size, weight, operational characteristics was too much of a burden
    • They considered inspection, maintenance and permitting requirements
    • Regulation will most likely limit to Line-of-Sight flying. No FPV
    • Flights look to be allowed between sunrise and sunset
    • The 400 foot (122m) ceiling appears to be getting a bump to 500ft (152m)
    • Finally the FAA believes the enforcement costs will be reduced by providing simplified standards

    Other Interesting info from the FAA Eval:

    Between 2004 and 2012, there were 95 fatalities involving climbers working on cell and

    other towers.

    and here are two instances where Unmanned Aerial Systems could have greatly reduced risk:

    NTSB Accident Investigation Number: WPR09LA160: 3/20/2009

    The helicopter pilot was circling over a residential structure to allow his passenger to take

    photographs. He failed to maintain adequate rotor rpm while maneuvering at a low

    altitude and crashed the helicopter resulting in no fatalities and no injuries. The hull

    sustained “substantial damage.”

    NTSB Accident Investigation Number: MIA07CA004: 10/11/2006

    The helicopter pilot maneuvered the helicopter so that the photographer could take photos

    of a house at the water’s edge. He lost control during a crosswind and crashed into the

    water resulting in no fatalities and no injuries. The hull was destroyed.

    The report claims that the owner will have to register his or her aircraft:

    The proposed rule would

    also require the owner of a small UAS to pay a registration fee for the aircraft.

    The initial written knowledge test would contain the following topics:

    • applicable regulations relating to small unmanned aircraft system rating privileges, limitations, and flight operation;
    • airspace classification and operating requirements, obstacle clearance requirements, and flight restrictions affecting small unmanned aircraft operation;
    • effects of weather on small unmanned aircraft performance;
    • small unmanned aircraft system configuration management;
    • emergency procedures;
    • crew resource management;
    • radio communication procedures;
    • determining the performance of small unmanned aircraft;
    • physiological effects of drugs and alcohol;
    • aeronautical decision-making and judgment; and
    • airport operations.


    I agree to have my personal information transferred to MailChimp - Our Email Provider ( more information )
    Join thousands of members who receive our exclusive Drone Leaks, the latest Drone News, exclusive videos, tips and tricks relating to all things quadcopter and drone.
    We hate spam. You can unsubscribe at any time.

    Author: Felix

    Share This Post On


    1. if the FAA requires people to have a license for quad copters will this increase the cost on a quadcopter.could this be a deterrent for people wanting to buy a quadcopter for a hobby

      Post a Reply
      • Hi Richard, thanks for your comment. If the FAA or any other Regulatory Entity required licenses for quadcopters, the cost of the quadcopter itself doesn’t necessarily have to increase. The total cost of ownership would of course if you have to have a license for commercial use,etc.

        Post a Reply

    Submit a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Get unedited Mavic 2 Pro Sample Images!​

    Enter your email to get the Mavic 2 Sample Images, straight as the files came ouf of the drone. You can unsubscribe at any time.
    Yes I Want! 
    Get your own Camera Test Chart

    Enter your email to get the Camera Test Chart we use! We hate Spam & You can unsubscribe at any time.
    Give me the Chart! 
    Download High-Res Comparison & Camera Test Chart

    Enter your email to get the Mavic 2 Pro Aperture Test Images, as well as the Camera Test Chart. You can unsubscribe at any time.
    Send them to me!
    OSMO Action Resources

    Enter your email to get the Osmo Action Resources! You can unsubscribe at any time.
    YES! I want the goods!
    Mini 2. Here Now.

    Don't ever miss another Drone Leak !

    Know when the next model is coming. Get advanced notice so you can list your old Drone for sale!