Tag Archives: FAA

OIG to Audit FAA Drone Waiver Processes

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced an audit of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) “approval and oversight processes” for Part 107 waivers for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) operations. The audit will begin before month’s end and will assess the FAA’s processes for granting waivers and … Continue Reading

FAA to Release New UAS Airspace Maps

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 … Continue Reading

FAA Publishes Notice to Airmen Restricting UAS Flights Over 133 Military Facilities

On April 7, 2017, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published a Notice to Airmen (Notice) that becomes effective on April 14, 2017. The Notice prohibits the operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) over 133 military facilities to an altitude of 400 feet. The FAA is relying on its authority and ability to address national security … Continue Reading

Sense-and-Avoid Software Tests Successfully in Recent Drone Flights

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Northrop Grumman, and Aviation & Communication & Surveillance Systems (ACSS) recently announced a series of successful drone flights testing sense-and-avoid systems. One of the key issues with flying a drone beyond-visual-line-of-sight is that the sense-and-avoid technology is slow to come to market. While it is certainly out there and being … Continue Reading

Commercial Drone Alliance Speaks Out Against Drone Privacy Legislation

The Commercial Drone Alliance (CDA) voiced its opinion on the drone privacy legislation that was recently reintroduced by U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey and U.S. Representative Peter Welch. The Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act, seeks to ensure transparency and privacy of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operations. However, the CDA argues that this bill would … Continue Reading

Maryland Sheriff’s Office Recovers Stolen Construction Goods Through Drones

Last week, Maryland’s Cecil County Sheriff’s Office used an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to recover nearly $400,000 worth of stolen construction equipment, which also led to the arrest of the culprit. The New Jersey State Police, Pennsylvania State Police and Delaware Fish and Wildlife Natural Resources Police were all investigating this case—the construction equipment had … Continue Reading

An Update on Part 107 Waivers for Night Operations

Back in August 2016, when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced its final small unmanned aerial systems (UAS) rule (or Part 107) FAA administrator, Michael Huerta said, “Our focus is to make this as streamlined as possible [. . .] We do not envision this being a very burdensome process.” However, Part 107 limits flights … Continue Reading

New Drone Sighting Report Released by FAA

On February 23, 2017, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released an updated drone sighting report containing data covering February through September 2016. The report includes pilot, air traffic controller, law enforcement, and citizen reports of potential encounters with drones. The reports of drones has continued to increase –there were 1,274 such reports from February through … Continue Reading

AUVSI Remote Pilots Council Announced

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) has announced the formation of a Remote Pilots Council which aims to promote education and dialog between commercial unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones), operators, industry stakeholders and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The council will discuss opportunities and challenges related to the safe and responsible use … Continue Reading

L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Begins Use of UAS for Dangerous, Hostile and Life-Saving Operations

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s (LASD) use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones) has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for “dangerous, hostile and life-saving operations.” LASD Sheriff, Jim McDonnell, explained in a press release that the drones will be used in situations like search and rescue, explosive ordnance detection, hazardous … Continue Reading

SkyPan and FAA Settle UAS Enforcement Cases

SkyPan International, Inc. (SkyPan), based in Chicago, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) agreed upon a comprehensive settlement to resolve the enforcement cases where the FAA alleged that the SkyPan operated unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones) in airspace over New York City and Chicago in violation of airspace regulations and operating rules. SkyPan will … Continue Reading

Update on the Drone Flights-Over-People Rule

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues to work on its proposed rule which would allow the operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, over people, expected (hopefully) to be released before the end of the Obama Administration next week. For the final rule, of course, there is no set timeline. FAA Administrator, Michael Huerta, … Continue Reading

FAA Approves Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight Operations at North Dakota UAS Test Site

Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drone) operations at a test site in North Dakota. With this approval, operators can now develop, test, and evaluate new applications for UAS technology at the Northern Plains UAS Test Site. North Dakota Senator John Hoeven said, “This authorization will … Continue Reading

The Drone Market: 2016 Year in Review

The biggest news of 2016 for the commercial drone market was surely the finalization of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Part 107 regulations. And even better news for the commercial drone market was that the Part 107 regulations are not as onerous as they could have been! In 2017, we will surely see the regulatory … Continue Reading

FAA Drone Registration Systems Marks its One-Year Anniversary

The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) drone registration system marked its one year anniversary on December 21, 2016. Since then, 616,000 drone owners have registered their drones. The FAA sees this as a great achievement in safety; upon registration each applicant receives “basic safety information” so over 600,000 drone owners now have “basic aviation knowledge to … Continue Reading

How Can You Mitigate Risks When Flying a Drone Beyond Visual Line of Sight?

Precisionhawk, one of the leaders in the drone market, released a report this week outlining operational risks when flying drones beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). Precisionhawk’s research comes from its participation in the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Pathfinder program, which was created to explore incremental expansion of drone operations in the national airspace. Precisionhawk’s … Continue Reading

FAA’s Drone Efforts Audited by the OIG

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) released its recent audit of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), “FAA Lacks A Risk-Based Oversight Process For Civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems,” stating that while the FAA has taken continuous steps to advance the integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or ‘drones’) into the national airspace, … Continue Reading

2017: New President, New Transportation Secretary—Where Do Drones Fit?

The Drone Manufacturers Alliance (DMA) has voiced approval of President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Elaine Chao as the next U.S. Secretary of Transportation in its November 9 letter to Trump and the Trump-Pence Transition Team. But with that approval comes a request for Trump to “pursue a balanced legal and regulatory framework for unmanned aircraft systems … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #64 – Online Training for those Drone Hobbyists Out There

If you are considering purchasing a drone this holiday season, make sure to check out the newly launched online training course created by the Unmanned Safety Institute (USI) designed specifically for drone hobbyists. This new course, called SAFEGUARD, is about one hour long and covers safety topics such as understanding airspace, identifying and avoiding hazards, … Continue Reading

FAA Sends Proposed Rule for Drone Flights over People to the White House OIRA

Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposed a new rule for performance-based standards and means-of-compliance for operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or “drones’) over people who are not directly participating in the drone operation. This is contrary to the Small UAS Rule (or Part 107 as it is commonly called), which explicitly … Continue Reading
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