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The Federal Aviation Administrations (FAA) new small drone rule effective August 29 formally known as Part 107 allows for some expanded operations based on technology mitigations if you can make the safety case for a waiver of some provisions. Operators can apply for waivers to operate at night, beyond line of sight, above 400 feet and other specific types of operation.

Heres what you need to know about the waiver process:

Under Part 107, you may request a waiver of certain provisions starting August 29 if your operations dont quite fit under the rules provisions. On August 29, the FAA will have an online portal you can use to request waivers of applicable Part 107 regulations at www.faa.gov/uas.

Its important to understand the FAA wont grant waivers automatically, and processing your waiver request may take time. The exact length of time will depend on the volume of requests we receive and the complexity of your waiver application. You should submit your waiver requests to the FAA as early as possible we recommend at least 90 days before you plan to fly.

If you currently have a Section 333 exemption grant, and we previously said you could operate under Part 107 with a waiver, you will receive a letter by August 29 notifying you that we have granted you a waiver or that we need additional information for you to make your safety case.

Information on the regulations potentially eligible for a waiver is here and a short video on the waiver process is here.

Posted: August 26, 2016, 8:03 pm

The Federal Aviation Administrations (FAA) new small drone rule formally known as Part 107 is effective on August 29. You may also be wondering what happens to your Section 333 exemption grant or petition for exemption. View the video here.

The biggest question is whether you are better off flying under the provisions of Part 107, or should continue using your existing exemption?

Your exemption is valid until it expires usually two years after it was issued. Even after Part 107 becomes effective, you may choose to fly following the conditions and limitations in your exemption.

However, if you want to operate under the new Part 107 regulations, youll have to obtain a remote pilot certificate and follow all of the rules operating provisions. You must apply for a waiver if some parts of your operation dont meet the rules requirements.

If you already have a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization under your Section 333 exemption a COA you can continue to fly under the COA limitations until it expires. If you don't already have a COA, you probably won't need one when the new drone rules go into effect.

However, if you want to fly in controlled airspace, you will need permission from FAA air traffic control. Details about obtaining that permission will be online at www.faa.gov/uas when the small drone rule is effective on August 29, 2016.

If you applied for a Section 333 exemption but havent received it yet, you should have received a letter from the FAA with specific information about the status of your petition. Generally, if your petition is pending and falls within the provisions of the rule, you should follow the steps outlined in the rule.

Whether you choose to fly under your exemption or under the new small drone rule is your choice, depending on how you want to operate your aircraft. Youll have to compare the conditions and limitations in your exemption to the operating requirements in the rule to determine which one best addresses your needs.

Posted: August 26, 2016, 7:41 pm

The FAA Air Traffic Report provides a reasonable expectation of any daily impacts to normal air traffic operations, i.e. arrival/departure delays, ground stoppages, airport closures. This information is for air traffic operations planning purposes and is reliable as weather forecasts and other factors beyond our ability to control.

Always check with your air carrier for flight-specific delay information.

Today's Air Traffic Report:

Mostly clear skies and on-time flights today at East Coast airports from Charlotte (CLT) north to New York (JFK, LGA, EWR). Thunderstorms in the Central States will continue to weaken as the morning progresses, while storms along the Gulf Coast and south Florida will strengthen and possibly delay flights to and from Houston (HOU, IAH), Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Miami (MIA). Morning cloud cover may slow traffic in Denver (DEN) and San Francisco (SFO).

For up-to-the-minute air traffic operations information, visit fly.faa.gov, and follow @FAANews on Twitter for the latest news and Air Traffic Alerts.

Posted: August 25, 2016, 1:22 pm

A new world of opportunities for drone operators opens next week on August 29 when the new small drone rule for non-hobbyists becomes effective. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wants to make sure you have the information youll need to take advantage of those opportunities.

Aeronautical Knowledge Test

One very important step you have to take is to obtain your remote pilot certificate. Under the new rulealso known as Part 107the person actually flying a drone must have a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating, or be directly supervised by someone with such a certificate.

To qualify for the certificate, you must either pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center or have an existing non-student Part 61 pilot certificate. If you are qualifying under the latter provision, you must have completed a flight review in the previous 24 months and must take an FAA UAS online training course. The Transportation Security Administration will conduct a security background check of all remote pilot applications prior to issuance of a certificate.

The FAA has posted extensive materials, including a test guide and sample questions, to help you prepare for the knowledge test. You can review the materials by clicking on the Knowledge Test Prep Part 107 button at www.faa.gov/uas.

You also can watch a short video about the knowledge test here: https://youtu.be/v-d1RuTFvbs.

Posted: August 18, 2016, 10:08 pm

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