Monday, 15th July, 2024
Monday, 15th July, 2024

UPS, Amazon delivery drones are a step closer to reality with new US rules

Someday soon, you may not be waiting for packages delivered by a truck – instead, they’ll come overhead with drones. But they look a little different from what you have seen before. The Federal Aviation Administration on Monday announced new rules for what it calls “unnamed aircraft” that weigh more than 0.55 pounds (or 0.25 kilograms) to operate around people.

Under the new rules, the FAA states that drones must broadcast their identification through a new system called Remote ID that will help the government track both drones and their base “control” stations. Operators at night need to have anti-collection lights and drones should not have any “exposure rotating parts” (like the flight blades) that could cut human skin. And people who operate drones need to have a drone pilot’s license with them whenever they fly.

“The new rules address security and safety concerns and pave the way for further integration of drones into our airspace,” FAA Administrator Steve Dixon said in a statement. “They have brought us closer to the day when we will see drone operations as more regular package delivery.”

The rules announced Monday are the latest step in a one-step process of distributing drones around the United States and strengthening aircraft regulations. Both Amazon and UPS have been testing drone supplies, indicating that the technology is not too far away.

Various parts of the US government have expressed concern about how drones could be misused, a concern heightened by a series of incidents in 2018 in which drones caused Gatwick Airport in London to shut down.

It will be more than two years before the new rules take effect, but civilian drones proposed for sale in the United States must be equipped with ID broadcast technology within 18 months, according to data released by the FAA. Existing drones also need to be rebuilt with a beacon system and all drones will have to comply with these rules for the next few years.

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