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FAA will allow drones to fly at night. Amazon, UPS and others could use drones for deliveries

Amazon Drones
Posted at 9:05 PM, Dec 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-28 21:07:07-05

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal officials are outlining new rules that will let operators fly small drones over people and at night. Most drones will need to be equipped with remote identification that can be tracked by law enforcement officials.

The final rules announced Monday by the Federal Aviation Administration could boost the commercial use of drones, which has been slowed by regulatory hurdles. UPS, Amazon.com, and Google parent Alphabet are among many companies exploring the potential for making deliveries to consumers with drones.

“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.

The FAA issued the following three operational requirements:

1. Operate a standard Remote ID drone that broadcasts identification and location information of the drone and control station;

2. Operate a drone with a Remote ID broadcast module (may be a separate device attached to the drone), which broadcasts identification, location, and take-off information; or

3. Operate a drone without Remote ID but at specific FAA-recognized identification areas.

According to the FAA, the Remote ID will help mitigate risks associated with expanded drone operations, such as flights over people and at night, and both rules support technological and operational innovation and advancements.