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News & Updates


FAA.gov News and Updates

Latest FAA.gov News and Updates

October 25- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) began issuing Part 107 waivers and airspace authorizations to drone operators starting August 29, 2016, the effective date of the new rule. As of October 24, 2016, the agency has approved 81 authorizations for flights in Class D and E airspace, and has issued 36 waivers of Part 107 provisions to drone operators who applied after the rules effective date.

However, the agency has found that many applications have incorrect or incomplete information. Many applicants request too many waivers or request waivers for flights in types of airspace for which the FAA is not yet granting approvals. As a result, the agency has had to reject 71 waiver requests and 854 airspace applications.

Its important for applicants to understand the information needed to make a successful safety case for granting a waiver. Refer to the performance-based standards on our website.

For example, we clearly spell out the information required for a waiver to fly at night one of the most common requests:

  • Applicant must provide a method for the remote pilot to maintain visual line of sight during darkness.
  • Applicant must provide a method for the remote pilot to see and avoid other aircraft, people on the ground, and ground-based structures and obstacles during darkness.
  • Applicant must provide a method by which the remote pilot will be able to continuously know and determine the position, altitude, attitude, and movement of their small unmanned aircraft (sUA).
  • Applicant must assure all required persons participating in the sUA operation have knowledge to recognize and overcome visual illusions caused by darkness, and understand physiological conditions which may degrade night vision.
  • Applicant must provide a method to increase conspicuity of the sUA to be seen at a distance of 3 statute miles unless a system is in place that can avoid all non-participating aircraft.

The other performance-based standards also list exactly what the FAA needs to consider a waiver. Operators must make waiver requests at: https://www.faa.gov/uas/request_waiver/

Without a detailed description of how the applicant intends to meet these standards, the FAA cant determine if a waiver is possible. Operators should select only the Part 107 regulations that need to be waived for the proposed operation. Applicants also should respond promptly to any request we make for additional information. If the agency does not receive a response after 30 days, it will withdraw the request.

Operators must apply for airspace authorizations on the same web page. The required information is spelled out in the waiver/airspace authorization instructions document.

As the FAA previously announced, operators who want to fly in Class G (uncontrolled) airspace dont need FAA authorization. The agency is currently processing requests to operate in Class D and Class E airport surfaces. We will begin to consider requests for Class C drone flights after October 31 and for Class A airspace after December 5. Applications to fly in those areas before the indicated dates wont be approved.

The Part 107 regulations provide a flexible framework for unmanned aircraft operations. Waivers and airspace authorizations are an important part of making the new rule work as intended. Applicants can help speed the process by making sure they make a solid, detailed safety case for any flights not covered under the small drone rule.

Posted: October 25, 2016, 5:29 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:

Gusty winds will continue in the Northeast today, with flight delays possible in Boston (BOS) and the New York area (EWR, JFK, LGA). In the West, cloud cover and wind likely will slow traffic in San Francisco (SFO) throughout the day, and ongoing runway construction at Phoenix (PHX) could also delay flights.

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: October 25, 2016, 1:52 pm

October 24- The Federal Aviation Administration will hold public information briefings this week and next week on upcoming airspace changes in Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County.

The changes are part of the Southern California Metroplex project, which will replace dozens of existing conventional air routes with new satellite-based routes. The FAA undertook the project to improve airspace safety and efficiency.

The FAA will implement the project in phases between November 2016 and April 2017. Please note that these public briefings will focus only on changes that are occurring in November 2016. We will conduct additional community outreach in early 2017 for the subsequent implementation phases of the project.

All of the briefings will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The briefings will be open-house format, where people can attend anytime during the three-hour window to learn about the changes. FAA representatives will provide information on the project and be available to answer questions.

Free parking, as well as street parking, will be available at all locations. Spanish interpreters also will be present.

The briefing dates and locations are as follows:

Tuesday, Oct. 25: Griffith Middle School, 4765 E. 4th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90022

Will address routes for LAX and Santa Monica Airport.

Wednesday, Oct. 26: Palms Middle School, 10860 Woodbine Street, Los Angeles, CA 90034

Will address routes for LAX and Santa Monica Airport.

Thursday, Oct. 27: Corky McMillan Conference Center, Main Foyer Room A, 2875 Dewey Road, San Diego, CA 92106

Will address routes for Lindbergh Field, McClellan-Palomar Airport, Brown Field and Navy North Island.

Tuesday, Nov. 1: La Presa Middle School, 1001 Leland Street, Spring Valley, CA 91977

Will address routes for Lindbergh Field, McClellan-Palomar Airport, Brown Field and Navy North Island.

Wednesday, Nov. 2: El Modena High School, 3920 East Spring Street, Orange, CA 92869

Will address routes for John Wayne Airport, Long Beach Airport, Fullerton Municipal Airport, Zamperini Field and Los Alamitos Army Airfield.

To learn more about the project, please visit: http://www.metroplexenvironmental.com/socal_metroplex/socal_introduction.html

Posted: October 24, 2016, 10:22 pm

October 21- People are captivated by the limitless possibilities the drone industry offers, but with them comes a host of safety challenges, as hundreds of thousands of drones take to the sky. At the Federal Aviation Administration, we realize we cant solve these challenges alone. We need the expertise and collaboration of key industry and government stakeholders.

Enter the Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team (UAST), which held its first meeting October 18-19 in Washington, DC.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta announced the creation of the UAST at the White House Drone Day on August 2. The group, which includes a wide variety of stakeholders from the drone and aviation industries, as well as the government, will gather and analyze data to enhance safety and operations of drones in the nations airspace.

The UAST is modeled on the highly successful Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST) and General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC). CAST and the GAJSC use a data-driven, consensus-based approach to analyze safety data and develop specific interventions that will mitigate the root causes of accidents. Recommendations from both groups have significantly improved traditional aviation safety, and we expect the UAST to do the same for unmanned aircraft.

Although this first meeting was primarily organizational, team participants were enthusiastic about participating on the UAST and advancing the safe integration of UAS into the nations airspace.

Posted: October 21, 2016, 5:54 pm

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