December 12, 2016

FAA Final Drone Rules


KLC has been closely monitoring the developments of drone-use regulation nationwide and would like to share a recent development with our members.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), on June 22, announced its long awaited final rules for small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones. These rules represent a significant victory for public safety. In this action the FAA has unequivocally announced its rejection of pre-emption of state and local ordinances in the area of drone regulation. The FAA acknowledged the important role of state and local regulation, stating “certain legal aspects concerning small UAS use may be best addressed at the state or local level.”

The new rules put in place a number of new regulations, including hours of operation, height and line of sight requirements.  For example, the drone may fly 400 feet above ground level, or, under the final rules, go higher than 400 feet if it remains within 400 feet of a structure.

The findings by the FAA will allow our cities to regulate in these areas to require stricter guidelines than what the FAA does.  We are monitoring this development to see how cities nationwide will respond to this new power.

Here is the summary of the new rules governing drone operation:

KLC will continue to closely monitor this ever-evolving area of the law and we will continue to keep you apprised of all developments.

If you have any questions, contact Chris Johnson - KLC Member Legal Services Attorney at 859-977-3709 or