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News and Updates – FAA Establishes Restrictions on Drone Operations over DOD Facilities

At the request of its Federal security partners, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is using its existing authority under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations 99.7 Special Security Instructions to address concerns about drone operations over national security-sensitive facilities by establishing temporary flight restrictions specific to unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

In cooperation with Department of Defense (DOD), the FAA is establishing additional restrictions on drone flights up to 400 feet within the lateral boundaries of the following Federal facilities:

  • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) West near St. Louis, MO
  • NGA Next West near St. Louis, MO
  • NGA Arnold near St. Louis, MO

These changes, which are highlighted by FAA NOTAM FDC 8/7350, are pending until they become effective on August 30, 2018. Note that there are only a few exceptions that permit drone flights within these restrictions, and they must be coordinated with the individual facility and/or the FAA.

Operators who violate the flight restrictions may be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges.

Information on the FAA Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), which defines these restrictions, and all of the currently covered locations, can be found on our website.To ensure the public is aware of these restricted locations, this FAA website also provides an interactive map, downloadable geospatial data, and other important details. These restrictions also are depicted in the FAAs B4UFLY mobile app.

Additional, broader information regarding flying drones in the National Airspace System, including frequently asked questions, is available on the FAAs UAS website.

The FAA continues to consider additional requests by eligible Federal security agencies for UAS-specific flight restrictions using the Agencys 99.7 authority as they are received. Additional changes to these restrictions will be announced by the FAA as appropriate.

News and Updates – FAA Hits 100K Remote Pilot Certificates Issued

Drones have really taken off! As of today, more than 100,000 enthusiasts have obtained a Remote Pilot Certificate to fly a drone for commercial and recreational (not qualifying as model aircraft) use since the Federal Aviation Administrations (FAA) small drone rule went into effect on August 29, 2016.

Under Part 107, the person actually flying a drone formally an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) must have a Remote Pilot Certificate, or be directly supervised by someone with such a certificate. The majority of drone pilots get certified by studying online materials and then passing an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA approved knowledge testing center. You should have no trouble if you study the exam success rate is 92 percent.

If you already have a Part 61 pilot certificate, and have completed a flight review in the previous 24 months, you have the option to take a small UAS online training course provided by the FAA to obtain your certificate.

Its important to remember that a Remote Pilot Certificate is valid for two years from the date of issue. Anyone who earned their certificate at the end of August or in September 2016 should review the certification renewal requirements and prepare to take recurrent training or testing. You can find all the information you need to renew your certificate on our website.

News and Updates – FAA Accepting Controller Applications Nationwide

The Federal Aviation Administration is accepting applications nationwide beginning July 27 from people interested in becoming air traffic controllers. The job announcement may close prior to the listed closing date of July 31 if a sufficient applicant pool has been reached to meet the needs of the FAA.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens, speak English clearly and be no older than 30 years of age (with limited exceptions). They must have a combination of three years of education and/or work experience. They are also required to pass a medical examination, security investigation and FAA air traffic pre-employment tests. Agency staffing needs will determine facility assignment, and applicants must be willing to work anywhere in the U.S.

Accepted applicants will be trained at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Active duty military members must provide documentation certifying that they expect to be discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions no later than 120 days after the date the documentation is signed.

Interested applicants should visit https://faa.usajobs.gov/to start building their applications orwww.faa.gov/Jobsfor more information about air traffic controllers.

News and Updates – FAA Says Avoid Drone Registration Schemes

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wants to warn drone owners especially hobbyistsabout people offering to help register their drones with the agency. The FAA Drone Zone is all you need and it costs only $5.00.

There are a number of entities that offer to help drone owners and operators file an application for a registration number. Some attempt to mimic the look of the FAAs website with similar graphic design and even the FAA logo, or suggest they are somehow approved by the agency. They arent and you could be wasting your money.

The FAA neither regulates these entitites nor will speculate on their legitimacy. However, we have recently received reports of vendors charging exorbitant fees up to $150.00 for this service. The actual FAA registration fee is $5.00. For that charge, hobbyists receive one identification number for all the drones they own. All others pay the registration fee for each drone they intend to operate.

We strongly advise you to avoid registering your unmanned aircraft anywhere but at the FAA Drone Zone. Its the only way to make sure your drone is legally registered and that youve gotten your moneys worth.

News and Updates – FAA Surveys Commercial Drone Operators

If youve registered a commercial drone, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wants to hear from you.

On June 19, the FAA sent a questionnaire to everyone who has registered a commercial drone more formally, an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for anything but recreational or hobby use. Most of these owners fly their drones for commercial purposes, but the survey population also includes government departments and other users. Hobbyists are not included in this survey.

The goal is to collect information on drone flight activities under the FAAs small drone rule (Part 107), data that will help the FAA improve the services it delivers to the UAS community. Responses to the questionnaire are voluntary and entered 100 percent electronically. The survey will take about 10 minutes to complete.

The questions include areas such as number of drones registered, number and types of missions completed in 2017, primary locations where the operator flies and types of waivers requested. The survey also asks how operators want to get information about drone-related issues from the FAA, and how satisfied they are with the news channels they use now

The questionnaire is completely anonymous, so responses cannot be attributed to an individual.

So if the questionnaire is still sitting on your computer or mobile device, what are you waiting for? We wantand needyour input.