What is Drone Law? - Regulations for Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) | Air and Space Law | Ole Miss
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What is Drone Law? – Regulations for Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS)

What is Drone Law? – Regulations for Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS)

by Lonnie Cain

September 19, 2023

Drone laws are the federal, state, and local ordinances, regulations, and policies that govern using small uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) in the United States’ national airspace. The law applies to the registration and pilot certification of civil, small uncrewed aircraft in the United States.[1] A small uncrewed aircraft means an aircraft that weighs less than 55 pounds on takeoff, including everything onboard or otherwise attached to the aircraft.[2] A small uncrewed system is defined as the aircraft and associated components (communication links and equipment used to control the aircraft) required to safely and efficiently use the UAS.[3]

Regardless of experience or aircraft functionality, all drone pilots benefit from regulations. The laws will help govern the safe commercial and recreational use of uncrewed aircraft. Such rules have become increasingly crucial as the need for drones is estimated to increase by 21% by 2024.[4]

Finally, we must remember that drones will not exclusively utilize the airspace. Drones will share airspace with traditional aircraft such as airplanes and helicopters. Pilots of UAS must know the rules, operate in authorized airspace, and maintain compliance, doing their part to ensure our airspace is safe. Safety is everyone’s responsibility!

[1] 14 C.F.R. § 107.1 (2021).

[2] 14 C.F.R. § 107.3 (2021).

[3] Id.

[4] Lukas Schroth, The Drone Market 2019-2024: 5 Things You Need to Know, Drone Industry Insights (Apr. 10, 2019).