Monday, August 12, 2019

New FAA Rules Exempt Most Ham Towers from Marking Requirements; Add Regulation of Drones

The Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018, which recently became law, includes new marking requirements for many antenna towers and adds new requirements for operators of "recreational drones." However, the ARRL Letter reports that while a few ham towers will need to be marked and registered under the new law, those in residential yards or within farmland are specifically exempted.

More information is available from the ARRL at <>.

The same law also adds new restrictions on the recreational use of drones, which the ARRL says would include most uses by hams. Requirements include registering as a "modeler" and labeling your drone with your FAA registration number; passing an aeronautical knowledge and safety test; keeping the drone within sight of the operator or of another person in direct communication with the operator, and never flying over groups of people or near emergency or disaster recovery sites. (The advisory circular with details on the requirements - <> - does not address the use of "recreational" drones in association with amateur radio emergency or public service activities. If your group uses drones for these purposes, we suggest talking with your local director of emergency management about how and whether they may be used.)