The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Wednesday proposed new rules to make licensed radio spectrum in the 5 GHz band for the rising number of unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, in use.
Currently, drones typically operate under unlicensed and low-power wireless communications rules or experimental licenses. The FCC also said it is seeking comment on whether current rules for various spectrum bands are sufficient to ensure co-existence of drones and terrestrial mobile operations. The FCC is also proposing a process for drone operators to obtain a license in the aeronautical VHF band to communicate with air traffic control and other aircraft.
“The FCC must ensure that our spectrum rules meet the current – and future – spectrum needs of evolving technologies such as unmanned aircraft systems, which can be critical to disaster recovery, first responder rescue efforts, and wildfire management,” FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said.
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