The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) plans to release a set of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) facility maps on April 27, 2017. These maps will help drone operators improve their Part 107 airspace authorization requests, and in turn, hopefully help the FAA process these requests more quickly. The maps will include specific areas and altitudes near airports where UAS can operate safely. These maps will be available on the FAA’s website, www.faa.gov/UAS. Operators will be able to download the data in several different formats, use the site on their mobile devices, and customize the particular views that they want to see on the maps.
By using these maps when completing airspace authorization applications, operators will be able to align their request with the FAA’s approved, safe areas, locations and altitudes where small UAS can operate. This will hopefully increase the likelihood that the FAA will approve the request. However, these maps will be informational only. They will not automatically authorize a UAS flight. Only the FAA can grant controlled airspace access, which still must be done through the formal authorization process. We will check out the website on April 27th and keep you updated on any changes or major revisions by the FAA.