Under Section 349 of H. 304: EXCEPTION FOR LIMITED RECREATIONAL OPERATIONS OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT
Section 336 is entirely repealed. The repeal of Section 336 means that the FAA does have the right to regulate model aircraft, including recreational drones. (Section 336 was the law used to successfully challenge drone registration.)
Section 349 outlines the proposed rules for recreational operators. These rules include (in plain English summary, not to be construed as legal advice):
Aircraft must be flown strictly for recreation, and:
- Must be flown within a Community Based Organization’s (CBO) safety guidelines
- Must be flown within visual line of sight (VLOS)
- Must stay out of the way of manned aircraft
- Must be flying in Class G airspace under 400 feet, or have authorization
- Must be registered and marked
- The operator must pass an Aeronautical Knowledge Test.
A significant change is the addition of an FAA or CBO administered Aeronautical Knowledge Test for recreational operators. The test would not necessarily be the same as the Part 107 and would be administered electronically:
H. 304 calls for the test to be developed within 6 months of the enactment of the bill. The requirement that all aircraft be registered and marked is another significant change.
Furthermore, Section 349 spells out clearly that recreational aircraft shall be included in any new regulations or updates, particularly pointing out those relating to registration and remote tracking and ID requirements.
Finally, the section clarifies and defines what groups may identify themselves as a “Community Based Organization.” CBOs will have to be officially recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organizations specifically for model aviation. In order to be recognized and have members allowed to fly under the organization guidelines, groups will have to apply to the FAA.