The FAA comment period on the new Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) rules runs from February 23, 2015 to April 23, 2015. The proposed rules for UAS cover drones as large as 55 pounds and would disqualify most high school students from operating even small drones (Operators would have to be 17 or older and would have to be licensed by the FAA). Further, they would not permit drone flights over any people not involved in the operation, precluding most uses around a school campus.
The proposal, however, includes the possibility that separate rules might be created for micro UAS' under 4.5 pounds (which would cover most drones used in education). The FAA is asking for comments from the public on the potential micro UAS rules. Teachers and students need to speak out now to secure workable rules for the use of small drones in education.
Write to the FAA telling them about the importance of allowing the use of micro UAS in STEM education and for scholastic journalism purposes. Reference docket number FAA-2015–0150. Your comment might:
• Support the inclusion of micro UAS rules in the new regulations.
• Discuss the important educational uses of small drones in STEM education and for scholastic journalism newsgathering. Discuss potential educational uses of drones at your school. Make it personal. • Suggest that micro UAS rules include the educational use of small drones by high school students under 17 years old. • Support the safe use of micro UAS over people not involved in the direct operation of the drone.