Drone operators face new FAA regs, restrictions

Anyone planning to take aerial photographs of Nantucket with a drone this summer will need a special license and permission in advance if they want to fly the remotely-operated devices legally.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced last week that no drones can be flown in controlled airspace – which encompasses almost the entire island – unless the operator has a Part 107 certification, a commercial drone-operating license, and has received permission prior to flying.

A recreational license is expected to be made available some time during the summer, but for now, in order to fly legally, even amateur operators need the commercial certification.

Controlled airspace differs from airport to airport. Nantucket airspace is Class D, which stretches for a radius of five miles around the air-traffic-control tower to a height of 2,500 feet.