FAA drone rules relax Monday

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LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) – Federal drone rules will relax Monday. The new Federal Aviation Administration rules will open the flood gates to almost anyone who wants to get into the drone business.

On Thursday future drone pilots learned the rules and how to fly at St. Petersburg College’s campus in Largo. Students practiced flying through a course designed to help people cash in on the new FAA rules.

“It’s exploding, and people are just amazed about it. And they just want to do it today. They’re asking so many questions. Even kids are interested,” SPC Instructor Mark Mansour said.

Students found out what they can and cannot do with their drones. “Until now, only hobbyists that don’t know the rules have been flying. And it’s quite dangerous because they don’t think about weather, and they don’t think about attitude and they don’t think about battery life,” Page Wurts said.

Wurts plans to use a drone to inspect roofs that need to be repaired.

Surveying land is the plan for Jonathan Welker. “It will definitely streamline the process of starting out from purchasing a drone to going to getting your certification, not only that. It’s going to make everything safer,” Welker said.

SPC is the first college in the region to offer drone training. Go here or call (727) 341-4445 for more information on the training.

There are still many common sense safety rules for drones. Pilots should not fly over people who aren’t part of what you’re doing. You also can’t fly at night or near an airport.

Those interested in flying have a few steps to take. If you’re already a pilot, you take a test, fill out a form and send it in. If not, you have to go to an FAA-approved center to take and pass an aeronautical knowledge test. Find more information here.

News Channel 8’s Drone 8 made a guest appearance in the class – and in the parking lot, with it’s high-definition, gyro-mounted camera. The new rules will make it possible for News Channel 8 to fly the newsgathering drone more often.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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