FAA overhauls UAV flight rules, paves the way to drone delivery services

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New US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules regulating flights of small drones over populated areas went into effect on April 21, 2021.

Flying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) over people, moving vehicles, and at night is now allowed, in contrast with previous rules that required a special FAA waiver to conduct drone operations in such conditions.

FAA will also require most drones to have a new remote identification system installed, allowing law enforcement to track its takeoff point, flight path, and the location of control stations. 

Remote pilots will also be required to complete a new training course and pass a test. 

Under previous rules, it was impossible to conduct regular commercial drone operations, for example, to operate a drone delivery service. Current rules will allow companies to perform such operations over populated areas. 

Numerous US companies have previously experimented with these services, and some countries have already begun establishing their own drone delivery networks. Previous years also saw numerous countries adapting their legislation for the widespread use of drones for various commercial purposes.

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