Understanding Airspace Regulations for Drone Surveying Missions

When it comes to drone surveying missions, it is essential to understand the airspace regulations that must be followed. Depending on the purpose of the mission, different regulations may apply. For recreational purposes, large airports typically belong to Class B airspace, which is the most restrictive type of low-altitude airspace for manned aviation. This airspace extends to the ground around the busiest airports. For commercial operations, drones must comply with certain regulations.

Category three drones are allowed to operate on people with a higher injury threshold than category two, but are restricted in terms of the types of operations they can perform. Remote identification is necessary to help the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), law enforcement and federal security agencies identify when a drone appears to fly unsafely or where it is not allowed to fly. With the takeoff of international markets and the opening of new market spaces for drone companies, it is important to be aware of drone laws around the world. Operators must have a remote pilot certificate and the drone must remain within the line of sight of the operator or a visual observer. Additionally, operations cannot be carried out with people who are not involved in the operation of the drone or at night.

Drones must remain in the pilot's line of sight; however, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) can grant flights with Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drones for specific and restricted cases. Anyone who buys a drone that complies with regulations and modifies it in certain ways, such as changing its computer code or equipping it with non-compliant blades, must request approval from the FAA before that drone can perform operations on people. Category three drones cannot operate over any outdoor gathering of people, must remain inside or on a closed or restricted access site, and anyone inside that site must be notified that a small unmanned aircraft could fly over it. The drone is not allowed to fly over people, although it can travel above them. If a drone complies with this option, it must maintain a distance of no more than 400 feet from the operator. In addition, three countries (Cuba, Belize and Nicaragua) have very strict regulations on drones, which restrict all drone flights except for very specific commercial occasions.