DOT and FAA Finalize Rules for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

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Regulations will create new opportunities for business and government to use drones WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration has finalized the first operational rules (PDF) for routine commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or “drones”), opening pathways towards fully integrating UAS into the nation’s airspace. These new regulations work to harness new innovations safely, to spur job growth, advance critical scientific research and save lives. “We … Read More

FAA Tests FBI Drone Detection System at JFK Airport

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The FAA and its government partners are expanding research on ways to detect “rogue” drones around airports. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and its government, industry and academia partners have joined forces to evaluate drone detection technology at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York. Over the last two years, the FAA has received numerous reports from pilots and residents about unmanned aircraft systems – UAS, or “drones” … Read More

FAA To Release Drone Registration Location Data

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has now posted a large database showing the city, state and zip code of each registered drone owner. Release of the database responds to a number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests submitted since the new unmanned aircraft registration system began operating on December 21, 2015. The FAA is not posting the names and street addresses of registered owners because the data is exempt from … Read More

Amazons Plan to Integrate Drones Into Airspace

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Amazon Prime Air’s Gur Kimchi addressed a packed house at AUVSI’s Xponential Conference in New Orleans on May 3, 2016, as they promoted their concept for drone integration into the national airspace. “Airspace is a shared resource – this is really important.  Once you take off and fly, you are sharing the air,” says Kimchi. “What’s important is to have a model that is heterogeneous… that enables all applications.” Amazon’s plan to … Read More

NASA Staging Nationwide UAV Traffic-Management Test

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Up to 24 UAVs are planned to fly simultaneously at six FAA-designated test sites across the U.S. on April 19, in the biggest test yet of NASA’s UAV traffic management (UTM) system. “Participating UAS operators at the six sites will enter their planned flight operations and the UTM research platform will check for conflicts, accept or reject the flight plans and notify the users,” NASA says. Winds permitting, the national test campaign … Read More

FAA Doubles Altitude for Many UAS Flights

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After a comprehensive risk analysis, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has raised the unmanned aircraft (UAS) “blanket” altitude authorization for Section 333 exemption holders and government aircraft operators to 400 feet. Previously, the agency had put in place a nationwide Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) for such flights up to 200 feet. The new COA policy allows small unmanned aircraft—operated as other than model aircraft (i.e. commercial use)—to fly … Read More

FAA Talks Drones at SXSW

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FAA Administrator Michael Huerta led a lively panel discussion about the future of small unmanned aircraft at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin on Monday. The panel included a diverse group of  industry and government. In his opening remarks, Administrator Huerta outlined recent progress on several important initiatives, including a robust unmanned aircraft system (UAS) registration system that is expected to pass 400,000 registrants this week, the MicroUAS aviation rulemaking … Read More

FAA Unveils Effort to Expand the Safe Integration of Unmanned Aircraft

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is establishing an aviation rulemaking committee  (PDF)with industry stakeholders to develop recommendations for a regulatory framework that would allow certain UAS to be operated over people who are not directly involved in the operation of the aircraft. The FAA is taking this action to provide a more flexible, performance-based approach for these operations than what was considered for Micro … Read More