The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is one step closer to officially allocating spectrum for the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS, or more commonly known as drones).
In a report issued in late August, the Commission’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau has affirmed that the 5030-5091 MHz spectrum band is suitable for drone operations. The report recommends that the Commission begin a rulemaking process to establish service and licensing rules applicable to UAS use of the band.
The Bureau’s report further notes that alternative frequencies licensed under the Commission’s flexible-use service rules may also be an option for UAS communications. However, due to the potential of UAS to cause harmful interference to other operations, the report cautions that that option would require further FCC review.
“With the increased reliance on UAS for various business and consumer uses, this was an appropriate time for Commission staff to the review the spectrum needs of UAS,” noted Don Stockdale, Chief of the Bureau, in an FCC press release announcing the release of the report. “We found that there is a reasonable path forward for the use of the 5030-5091 band by drones.”