The Federal Aviation Administration’s (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.
Here’s 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 don’t quite fit under the rule’s 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.
It’s important to understand the FAA won’t 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
Waivers to Certain Small UAS Operating Rules
The small UAS rule (14 CFR part 107) includes the option to apply for a certificate of waiver, which allows for a small UAS operation to deviate from certain operating rules if the FAA finds that the proposed operation can be performed safely.
- Waivable sections of part 107
- Operation from a moving vehicle or aircraft (§ 107.25)*
- Daylight operation (§ 107.29)
- Visual line of sight aircraft operation (§ 107.31)*
- Visual observer (§ 107.33)
- Operation of multiple small unmanned aircraft systems (§ 107.35)
- Yielding the right of way (§ 107.37(a))
- Operation over people (§ 107.39)
- Operation in certain airspace (§ 107.41)
- Operating limitations for small unmanned aircraft (§ 107.51)
*No waiver of this provision will be issued to allow the carriage of property of another by aircraft for compensation or hire.
Applicants should submit their waiver requests to the FAA as early as possible. Processing time depends on the complexity of the request; however the agency strives to respond within 90 days.
Certificates of waiver may include specific special provisions designed to ensure that the small UAS operation provides an equivalent level of safety as part 107.