Press Release

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Experts Available to Comment on FAA’s Small UAS Rule

University of Maryland Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site Weighs in on Impact of FAA’s Part 107 Rule


Alyssa Wolice
301 405 2057

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – University of Maryland Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Test Site Director Matt Scassero and Director of Operations Tony Pucciarella are available for media interviews to discuss how the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Rule will affect commercial use of UAS, commonly known as drones.

The FAA announced today that it has finalized the first operational rules for routine commercial use of small UAS. The new rule, Part 107 of Chapter 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, will take effect in late August 2016 and will lay out new safety regulations for non-hobbyist operations of UAS weighing less than 55 pounds.

While the rules will limit commercial UAS flight to daytime hours and to within the UAS operator’s line of sight, Part 107 is designed to eliminate several of the current barriers to entry into commercial drone flight. For example, authorization for commercial UAS flight currently requires a Section 333 exemption from the FAA; however, Part 107 will eliminate this requirement for a large portion of businesses. Additionally, several of the rule requirements can be waived to allow the gathering of experience and data that will support future rule-making.

The FAA press release states that “according to industry estimates, the rule could generate more than $82 billion for the U.S. economy and create more than 100,000 new jobs over the next 10 years.”

"The Small UAS Rule represents a historic step in the expansion of our nation’s commercial unmanned aircraft systems industry," Scassero said. "The new ground rules will make it easier for a variety of industries to use UAS in everyday operations. More importantly, they outline safety and operational guidelines to protect people and property on the ground as well as manned aircraft." 

The University of Maryland Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site, based in California, Md., leverages the capabilities of the people and infrastructure in Southern Maryland and the University System of Maryland for technical and policy issues associated with UAS. The university’s Test Site is a proud member of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP) under the FAA UAS Test Site program, along with Virginia and New Jersey.

UAS work by the university's A. James Clark School of Engineering, the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and industries throughout Maryland is supported by federal, state, and local governments, as well as industry and other sectors.


About the A. James Clark School of Engineering

The A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland serves as the catalyst for high-quality research, innovation, and learning, delivering on a promise that all graduates will leave ready to impact the Grand Challenges (energy, environment, security, and human health) of the 21st century. The Clark School is dedicated to leading and transforming the engineering discipline and profession, to accelerating entrepreneurship, and to transforming research and learning activities into new innovations that benefit millions.

Visit us online at and follow us on Twitter @ClarkSchool.