FAA Rule Would Let Drones Fly Over People and At Night Without a Waiver

The Transportation Department is proposing a new rule to allow operators of small drones under 55 pounds to fly at night and over people, conditions that currently require the pilot to obtain a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The draft rule—which will be posted in the Federal Register and open for public comment once the partial government shutdown ends—sets forth specific guidance for drone operators and manufacturers to comply with, though some privacy hawks are crying foul.

“The department’s approach to new transportation technologies is performance-based, rather than highly prescriptive,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said Monday in a speech before the Transportation Research Board announcing the new rule.