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The FAA is requiring all operators of small unmanned aircraft systems between 0.55 and 55 pounds to register. This is to help ensure that operators of model aircraft and drones act in a responsible manner, etc.

In the Registration and Marking Requirements for Small Unmanned Aircraft document available from the FAA (PDF), there are examples given of drones being flown near wildfires that interrupted firefighting efforts, despite a temporary flight restriction for the area surrounding the fire.

It seems obvious to me that operating an RC aircraft near a wildfire might not be a good idea. However, "temporary flight restrictions" could exist in other cases that aren't quite so obvious. There is no requirement (as far as I know) for sUAS operators to check NOTAMs, aviation charts, etc.

How can an operator be sure they are in compliance in every situation? It seems like it might be very easy to violate some regulation inadvertently.

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    $\begingroup$ There is nothing that prevents sUAS operators (or even passengers-in-coach) from checking NOTAMs for where they're at :) $\endgroup$ – UnrecognizedFallingObject Dec 19 '15 at 0:26
  • $\begingroup$ "FAA is requiring all operators of small unmanned aircraft systems between 0.55 and 55 pounds to register" - this is not true for those operating under 14 CFR Part 101 (hobbyist). $\endgroup$ – Steve Kuo Oct 18 '17 at 23:16
  • $\begingroup$ "There is no requirement (as far as I know) for sUAS operators to check NOTAMs, aviation charts, etc." - There sure is, see 14 CFR 107.49, 107.47 and 107.45 $\endgroup$ – Steve Kuo Oct 18 '17 at 23:19
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Information about current and future TFR areas is available from the FAA, even as an easy-to-read map. If someone is planning on flying a manned or unmanned aircraft, that should be on their list of things to check ahead of time.

As far as other airspace restrictions, we have a question detailing the different types of airspace. It would be worthwhile for a UAS operator to learn enough about reading charts to at least know the airspace in the area where they intend to fly.

Another option would be to attend ground school or at least do some amount of self-study. Just as pilots need to know how to operate according to the rules of the airspace system, UAS operators could benefit from the education.

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    $\begingroup$ Ah, an excuse for my wife of why I should attend ground school. Then, I might as well take a few hours with a CFI... :) +1 and probably an accept. $\endgroup$ – Steve Dec 19 '15 at 1:34
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Checking with the FAA directly (either via the web or calling flight services) is the best bet, however there are also a variety of tools available to help with this more easily.

The FAA itself makes a mobile app called B4UFly that can provide a good amount of detail. Additionally, the third party company AirMap has a good map system that is regularly updated and can be checked either online or via their mobile app. As an added bonus, airmap is able to automatically submit flight notifications for model aviation usage near select participating airports.

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