Busting Myths about the FAA and Unmanned Aircraft

Friday, March 14, 2014 @ 9:50 AM

By Rick Durden, AVweb

In a strongly-worded posting on its website, the FAA directly addressed what it called “misconceptions and misinformation about unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) regulations.” It listed seven common myths and set out the underlying facts on each.

The myths include that the FAA doesn’t control airspace below 400 feet—it is responsible for all U.S. airspace from the ground up, and said it believes the myth comes from the idea that manned aircraft must generally stay at least 500 feet above the ground; that commercial UAS flights are legal if over private property and under 400 feet—not so, trying to operate a UAS commercially by claiming compliance with Model Aircraft guidelines doesn’t cut it, commercial operations must be approved by the FAA on a case-by-case basis; and that commercial UAS operations fall under a “gray area” of the FARs—again, not so, operating any aircraft in U.S. airspace requires some level of FAA approval.

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