By simply observing what is flying in the sky, it is easy to see that the use of drones on farms has increased exponentially over the past 5 years. What was once a device for taking striking video of equipment working in the field has evolved into a serious tool used on efficient and profitable operations.
Many farm news sources have reported on the applications and benefits of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and how rapidly the technology is growing. But what is also rapidly changing are the FAA regulations surrounding the operation of drones.
As recently as 2015, it was essentially illegal for a drone to be used for anything other than “hobby pursuits.” Use for commercial pursuits (including Agricultural applications) was effectively not allowed. In 2016 the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) amended its regulations to address the operation of small UAVs for commercial purposes and the certification of remote pilots.
If you plan on purchasing a drone and operate it on the farm, it is important and required to properly register it and certify the pilot flying it. To learn more about these requirements and other news affecting UAVs on the farm, refer to the following resources:
FAA Information Regarding Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Agricultural Drone Use News
Summary of News from the FAA News