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FAA.gov News and Updates
Latest FAA.gov News and Updates
This week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and its partners are conducting detection research on unmanned aircraft (UAS) popularly called drones at Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport.
The DFW evaluation is the latest in a series of detection system evaluations that began in February 2016. Previous evaluations took place at Atlantic City International Airport; John F. Kennedy International Airport; Eglin Air Force Base; Helsinki, Finland Airport; and Denver International Airport.
Drones that enter the airspace around airports can pose serious safety threats. The FAA is coordinating with government and industry partners to evaluate technologies that could be used to detect drones in and around airports. This effort complies with congressional language directing the FAA to evaluate UAS detection systems at airports and other critical infrastructure sites.
At DFW, the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi UAS test site is performing the flight operations using multiple drones. Gryphon Sensors is the participating industry partner. The companys drone detection technologies include radar, radio frequency and electro-optical systems.
The FAAs federal partners in the overall drone detection evaluation effort include the Department of Homeland Security; the Department of Defense; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Federal Communications Commission; Customs and Border Protection; the Department of the Interior; the Department of Energy; NASA; the Department of Justice; the Bureau of Prisons; the U.S. Secret Service; the U.S. Capitol Police; and the Department of Transportation. The work is part of the FAAs Pathfinder Program for UAS detection at airports.
The FAA intends to use the information gathered during this assessment and other previous evaluations to develop minimum performance standards for any UAS detection technology that may be deployed in or around U.S. airports. These standards are expected to facilitate a consistent and safe approach to UAS detection at U.S. airports.
April 28- What might happen if a drone hits a person on the ground? Whats the risk of serious injury?
Although the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) cant yet definitively answer those questions, studies by a consortium of leading universities have made a start toward better understanding the risks of allowing small unmanned aircraft or drones to fly over people.
The consortium that conducted the research includes the University of Alabama-Huntsville; Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Mississippi State University; and the University of Kansas, through the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE). ASSURE represents 23 of the world's leading research institutions and 100 leading industry and government partners. It began the research in September 2015.
The research team reviewed techniques used to assess blunt force trauma, penetration injuries and lacerations the most significant threats to people on the ground. The team classified collision severity by identifying hazardous drone features, such as unprotected rotors.
The group also reviewed more than 300 publications from the automotive industry and consumer battery market, as well as toy standards and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) database. Finally, the team conducted crash tests, dynamic modeling, and analyses related to kinetic energy, energy transfer, and crash dynamics.
When the studies were complete, personnel from NASA, the Department of Defense, FAA chief scientists, and other subject matter experts conducted a strenuous peer review of the findings.
The studies identified three dominant injury types applicable to small drones:
- Blunt force trauma the most significant contributor to fatalities
- Lacerations blade guards required for flight over people
- Penetration injuries difficult to apply consistently as a standard
The research showed multi-rotor drones fall more slowly than the same mass of metal due to higher drag on the drone. Unlike most drones, wood and metal debris do not deform and transfer most of their energy to whatever they hit. Also, the lithium batteries that power many small drones need a unique standard to ensure safety.
The team recommended continued research to refine the metrics developed. The team members suggested developing a simplified test method to characterize potential injury, and validating a proposed standard and models using potential injury severity test data.
The second phase of ASSUREs research is set to begin in June 2017, and will examine the risks of collisions with aircraft.
The report on the ASSURE research and two video files are available here:http://pr.cirlot.com/faa-and-assure-announce-results-of-ground-collision-study/
Today's Air Traffic Report:
Low clouds and decreased visibility likely will cause delays this morning in Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Charlotte (CLT) and the New York area (EWR, JFK, LGA). Strong winds could lead to additional delays in Dallas-Fort Worth (DAL, DFW), Denver (DEN), Las Vegas (LAS), Phoenix (PHX) and San Francisco (SFO). Scattered thunderstorms over Oklahoma and the Atlantic Coast are not expected to cause significant delays. Delays also are expected in Los Angeles (LAX).
Pilots: Check out the new Graphical Forecasts for Aviation (GFA) Tool from the Aviation Weather Center.
The FAA Air Traffic Report provides a reasonable expectation of any daily impactsto 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.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today published more than 200 facility maps to streamline the commercial drone authorization process. The maps depict areas and altitudes near airports where UAS may operate safely. But drone operators still need FAA authorization to fly in those areas.
This marks a key first step as the FAA and industry work together to automate the airspace authorization process. The maps will help drone operators improve the quality of their Part 107 airspace authorization requests and help the FAA process the requests more quickly. The maps are informational and do not give people permission to fly drones. Remote pilots must still submit an online airspace authorization application.
Operators may download the map data in several formats, view the site on mobile devices and customize their views. The map viewer displays numbers in grid cells which represent the distances Above Ground Level (AGL) in one square mile up to 400 feet where drones may fly. Zeros indicate critical locations around airports and other aircraft operating areas, like hospital helipads, where no drone flights can be preauthorized. Requests to operate in these areas will require further coordination and FAA safety analysis, which can result in additional safety mitigations to be complied with by the drone operator. Remote pilots can refer to the maps to tailor their requests to align with locations and altitudes when they complete airspace authorization applications. This will help simplify the process and increase the likelihood that the FAA will approve their requests.
FAA air traffic personnel will use the maps to process Part 107 airspace authorization requests. Altitudes that exceed those depicted on the maps require additional safety analysis and coordination to determine if an application can be approved.
Additional maps will be published every 56 days through the end of the year. The updates will coincide with the agencys existing 56-day aeronautical chart production schedule. If a map is not yet available, it can be expected in future releases.
The facility maps are an important accomplishment as the FAA collaborates with industry to safely integrate drones into the National Airspace System. They will help improve the safety of drone and traditional aircraft operations. Questions may be directed to the FAA's UAS Integration Office via email@example.com or by calling 844-FLY-MY-UA.