US Announces New Rules For Drones And Their Operators

Mario Tama/Getty Images Federal regulators have issued new guidelines allowing drones to operate at night and over people — a change in the rules that could expand the use of the machines for commercial deliveries.

"These final rules carefully address safety, security and privacy concerns while advancing opportunities for innovation and utilization of drone technology," said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao in a statement .

The final change, once in effect, will amend current policies that previously forbade drone operations over people and at night unless the FAA granted a waiver.

Walmart is undergoing a pilot program in El Paso, Texas, where drones deliver COVID-19 test kits to homes within a mile and a half of a store in the city.

The organization's President and CEO Brian Wynne said the use of remote identification will enable "more complex" drone operations "which will have additional untold benefits for American society."

The final rule requires small drone operators to have their remote pilot certificate and identification in their possession when flying so as to be ready to present to authorities if needed.

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