Summary: S.2670 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.2670. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (03/10/2016)

Micro Drone Safety and Innovation Act of 2016

This bill amends the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 to make a special rule for any micro unmanned aircraft system whose aircraft component, including payload, weighs at most 4.4 pounds (micro drone).

A micro drone and its operator shall qualify for exemptions from certain airman certification, airworthiness, and operational regulations if the system is operated:

  • at an altitude under 400 feet above ground level,
  • at an airspeed under 40 knots,
  • within the operator's visual line of sight,
  • between sunrise and sunset, and
  • at least five statute miles from the geographic center of an airport that either has an operational air traffic control tower or is denoted on a current aeronautical chart published by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

A micro drone may also be operated within five statute miles of such an airport if, beforehand, the operator notifies the airport operator and receives approval from the air traffic control tower, if the airport has one.

Under the exemptions of this bill, any person may operate a micro drone without being required to:

  • pass any aeronautical knowledge test,
  • meet any age or experience requirement, or
  • obtain an airman certificate or medical certificate.

In an alternative to the requirements of this bill, a micro drone may be operated pursuant to any form of FAA-prescribed authorization, operational rules, or exemptions pertaining to unmanned aircraft systems; but both the aircraft and its operator shall remain exempt from any requirement for an airman certificate or medical certificate.