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Senior Advisor

FAA Says No To UAS For Farming

The FAA published a request for comment and interpretation of law that says that using a model airplane, which is considered an unmanned aerial sysstem (UAS) in support of a commercial operation such as your farm is not legal without specific FAA authorization.


Over the past few years, I've seen a number of demonstrations of UAS "drones" by vendors who claim that the farmer can use them on his farm for crop scouting and similar operations under the provisions of the exemption for model airplanes.  The FAA specfically says "No".  


"Any operation not conducted strictly for hobby or recreation purposes could not be operated under the special rule for model aircraft. Clearly, commercial operations would not be hobby or recreation flights.5 Likewise, flights that are in furtherance of a business, or incidental to a person’s business, would not be a hobby or recreation flight."


The FAA goes on to give specific examples that include use in farming.


Here is the 17 page interpretation.  It is also a request for comment so feel free to post your recommendations.



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