Sarah Nilsson, JD, PhD, MAS
Sarah Nilsson, JD, PhD, MAS

Test Prep 3 - Regulations

UA.I.B.K16 - Prior authorization required for operation in certain airspace

14 CFR §107.41   Operation in certain airspace.

No person may operate a small unmanned aircraft in Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace or within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport unless that person has prior authorization from Air Traffic Control (ATC).

 

AC 107-2A

5.10 Operation Near Airports, in Certain Airspace, in Prohibited or Restricted Areas, or in the Proximity of Certain Areas Designated by a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM). Small unmanned aircraft may operate in controlled or uncontrolled airspace. Operations in Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace, or within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport, are not permitted unless that person has prior authorization from air traffic control (ATC) (§ 107.41). Information concerning the current authorization process is available at https://www.faa.gov/uas/. The remote PIC must understand airspace classifications and requirements. Failure to do so could be contrary to part 107 regulations and may potentially have an adverse effect on the safety of operations. Small UAS operating under part 107 may not be subject to part 91 requirements, because the equipage and communications requirements outlined in part 91 were designed to provide safety and efficiency in the National Airspace System (NAS). ATC authorizations may depend on operational parameters similar to those found in

part 91. The FAA has the authority to approve or deny aircraft operations based on traffic density, controller workload, communication issues, or any other type of operation that could potentially impact the safe and expeditious flow of air traffic in that airspace.

5.10.1 Small Unmanned Aircraft Operations Near an Airport—Notification and Permissions. Unless the flight is conducted within controlled airspace, no notification or authorization is necessary to operate a small unmanned aircraft at or near an airport. When operating in the vicinity of an airport, the remote PIC must be aware of and avoid all traffic patterns and approach corridors to runways and landing areas. The remote PIC must avoid operating in any area in which the presence of the small UAS may interfere with operations at the airport, such as approach corridors, taxiways, runways, or helipads

(§ 107.43). The remote PIC must yield right-of-way to all other aircraft, including aircraft operating on the surface of the airport (§ 107.43).

5.10.1.1 Remote PICs are prohibited from operating a small unmanned aircraft in a manner that interferes with operations and traffic patterns at airports, heliports, and seaplane bases (§ 107.43). Small unmanned aircraft must always yield right-of-way to a manned aircraft. A manned aircraft may alter its flightpath, delay its landing, or take off in order to avoid a small unmanned aircraft that may present a potential conflict or otherwise affect the safe outcome of the flight. A small unmanned aircraft hovering 200 feet above a runway may cause a manned aircraft holding short of the runway to delay takeoff, or a manned aircraft on the downwind leg of the pattern to delay landing. While the small unmanned aircraft in this scenario would not present an immediate traffic conflict to the aircraft on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern or to the aircraft intending to take off, nor would it violate the right-of-way provision of § 107.37(a), the small unmanned aircraft would have interfered with the operations of the traffic pattern at an airport.

5.10. 1.2 In order to avoid interfering with operations in a traffic pattern, remote PICs should avoid operating in the traffic pattern or published approach corridors used by manned aircraft. When operational necessity requires the remote PIC to operate at an airport in uncontrolled airspace, the remote PIC should operate the small unmanned aircraft in such a way that the manned aircraft pilot does not need to alter his or her flightpath in the traffic pattern or on a published instrument approach in order to avoid a potential collision.

5.10.2 Air Traffic Organization (ATO). When receiving requests for authorization to operate in controlled airspace, ATO does not approve or deny small unmanned aircraft operations on the basis of equipage that exceeds the part 107 requirements. Additional equipage and technologies, such as geo-fencing, have not been certificated by the FAA and need to be examined on a case-by-case basis in order for the FAA to determine their reliability and functionality. Additionally, requiring staff from ATO to review equipage would place a burden on ATO and detract from other duties. Instead of seeking an authorization, a remote pilot who wishes to operate in controlled airspace because the remote pilot can demonstrate mitigations through equipage may do so by applying for a CoW (see paragraph 5.20).

5.10.3 Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR). Certain TFRs may be imposed by way of a NOTAM. Refer to https://www.1800wxbrief.com. The remote PIC must check for NOTAMs before each flight to determine whether any airspace restrictions apply to the operation.

5.10.4 Type of Airspace. Remote PICs must also be aware of the type of airspace in which they will be operating their small unmanned aircraft. Referring to the B4UFly app or a current aeronautical chart (refer to https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/flight_info/aeronav/digital_pro ducts/) of the intended operating area will aid the small unmanned aircraft remote PIC’s decision making regarding operations in the NAS.

 

 

According to 14 CFR Part 107, how may a Remote Pilot in Command (Remote PIC) operate an unmanned aircraft in controlled airspace (Class B, C, D, and E associated with an airport)?

  1. The Remote PIC must monitor the Air Traffic Control (ATC) frequency from launch to recovery
  2. The Remote PIC must have prior authorization from Air Traffic Control (ATC) 
  3. The Remote PIC must contact the Air Traffic Control (ATC) facility after launching the unmanned aircraft

 

Without prior ATC authorization, you can fly your sUAS below 400 feet above the ground (AGL) and:

  1. With at least one designated visual observer
  2. In uncontrolled airspace
  3. On private property

 

UA.I.B.K17 - Operating in the vicinity of airports

14 CFR §107.43   Operation in the vicinity of airports.

No person may operate a small unmanned aircraft in a manner that interferes with operations and traffic patterns at any airport, heliport, or seaplane base.

 

UA.I.B.K18 - Operating in prohibited or restricted areas

14 CFR §107.45   Operation in prohibited or restricted areas.

No person may operate a small unmanned aircraft in prohibited or restricted areas unless that person has permission from the using or controlling agency, as appropriate.

 

UA.I.B.K19 - Flight restrictions in the proximity of certain areas designated by notice to airmen (NOTAM)

14 CFR §107.47   Flight restrictions in the proximity of certain areas designated by notice to airmen.

A person acting as a remote pilot in command must comply with the provisions of §§ 91.137 through 91.145 and 99.7 of this chapter. 

UA.I.B.K20 - Preflight familiarization, inspection, and actions for aircraft operations

14 CFR §107.49   Preflight familiarization, inspection, and actions for aircraft operation.

 

Prior to flight, the remote pilot in command must:

(a) Assess the operating environment, considering risks to persons and property in the immediate vicinity both on the surface and in the air. This assessment must include:

(1) Local weather conditions;

(2) Local airspace and any flight restrictions;

(3) The location of persons and property on the surface; and

(4) Other ground hazards.

(b) Ensure that all persons directly participating in the small unmanned aircraft operation are informed about the operating conditions, emergency procedures, contingency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and potential hazards;

(c) Ensure that all control links between ground control station and the small unmanned aircraft are working properly;

(d) If the small unmanned aircraft is powered, ensure that there is enough available power for the small unmanned aircraft system to operate for the intended operational time;

(e) Ensure that any object attached or carried by the small unmanned aircraft is secure and does not adversely affect the flight characteristics or controllability of the aircraft; and

(f) If the operation will be conducted over human beings under subpart D of this part, ensure that the aircraft meets the requirements of §107.110, §107.120(a), §107.130(a), or §107.140, as applicable.

 

AC 107-2A

5.11 Preflight Familiarization, Inspection, and Actions for Aircraft Operation. The remote PIC must complete a preflight familiarization, inspection, and other actions, such as crewmember briefings, prior to beginning flight operations (§ 107.49). The FAA has produced many publications providing in-depth information on topics such as aviation weather, aircraft loading and performance, emergency procedures, risk mitigation, ADM, and airspace, which should all be considered prior to operations (see Appendix E, Sample Preflight Assessment and Inspection Checklist). Additionally, all remote pilots are encouraged to review FAA publications (see paragraph 2.3).

5.11.1 Prior to Flight. The remote PIC must:

1. Conduct an assessment of the operating environment. The assessment must include at least the following:

Local weather conditions;

- Local airspace and any flight restrictions;

The location of persons and moving vehicles not directly participating in the operation, and property on the surface;

If conducting operations over people or moving vehicles, ensure their small unmanned aircraft is eligible for the category or categories of operations (see Chapter 8);

Consider the potential for persons and moving vehicles not directly participating in operations entering the operational area for the duration of the operation;

Consider whether the operation will be conducted over an open-air assembly of persons; and

Other ground hazards.

Note: Remove pilots are prohibited from operating a small unmanned aircraft as a Category 1, 2, or 4 operation in sustained flight over open-air assemblies unless the operation meets the requirements of § 89.110 or § 89.115(a).

2. Ensure all persons directly participating in the small UAS operation are informed about the following:

- Operating conditions;

- Emergency procedures;

- Contingency procedures, including those for persons or moving vehicles not directly participating in the operation that enter the operational area;

- Roles and responsibilities of each person participating in the operation; and

- Potential hazards.

- Ensure all control links between the CS and the small unmanned aircraft are working properly. Before each flight, the remote PIC must determine the small unmanned aircraft flight control surfaces necessary for the safety of flight are moving correctly through the manipulation of the small unmanned aircraft CS. If the remote PIC observes that one or more of the control surfaces are not responding correctly to CS inputs, then the remote PIC may not conduct flight operations until correct movement of all flight control surface(s) is established.

- Ensure sufficient power exists to continue controlled flight operations to a normal landing. This can be accomplished by following the small UAS manufacturer’s operating manual power consumption tables. Another method would be to include a system on the small UAS that detects power levels and alerts the remote pilot when remaining aircraft power is diminishing to a level that is inadequate for continued flight operation.

- Ensure the small unmanned aircraft anti-collision light(s) function(s) properly prior to any flight that will occur during civil twilight or at night. The remote PIC must also consider, during his or her preflight check, whether the anti-collision light(s) could reduce the amount of power available to the small unmanned aircraft. The remote PIC may need to reduce the planned duration of the small unmanned aircraft operation to ensure sufficient power exists to maintain the illuminated anti-collision light(s) and to ensure sufficient power exists for the small unmanned aircraft to proceed to a normal landing.

- Ensure any object attached or carried by the small unmanned aircraft is secure and does not adversely affect the flight characteristics or controllability of the aircraft.

- Ensure all necessary documentation is available for inspection, including the remote PIC’s Remote Pilot Certificate, identification, aircraft registration, and CoW, if applicable (§ 107.7).

 

5.11.2 Safety Risk Assessment. These preflight familiarizations, inspections, and actions can be accomplished as part of an overall safety risk assessment. The FAA encourages the remote PIC to conduct the overall safety risk assessment as a method of compliance with the restriction on operating over any person who is not directly involved in the operation, unless the small unmanned aircraft is eligible for an operation over people in accordance with part 107 subpart D. The safety risk assessment also assists with ensuring the small unmanned aircraft will remain clear of other aircraft. Appendix A provides additional guidance on how to conduct an overall safety risk assessment.

 

 

UA.I.B.K21 - Operating limitations for sUAS

UA.I.B.K21a - Maximum groundspeed

UA.I.B.K21b - Altitude limitations

UA.I.B.K21c - Minimum visibility

UA.I.B.K21d - Cloud clearance requirements

14 CFR §107.51   Operating limitations for small unmanned aircraft.

A remote pilot in command and the person manipulating the flight controls of the small unmanned aircraft system must comply with all of the following operating limitations when operating a small unmanned aircraft system:

(a) The groundspeed of the small unmanned aircraft may not exceed 87 knots (100 miles per hour).

(b) The altitude of the small unmanned aircraft cannot be higher than 400 feet above ground level, unless the small unmanned aircraft:

(1) Is flown within a 400-foot radius of a structure; and

(2) Does not fly higher than 400 feet above the structure's immediate uppermost limit.

(c) The minimum flight visibility, as observed from the location of the control station must be no less than 3 statute miles. For purposes of this section, flight visibility means the average slant distance from the control station at which prominent unlighted objects may be seen and identified by day and prominent lighted objects may be seen and identified by night.

(d) The minimum distance of the small unmanned aircraft from clouds must be no less than:

(1) 500 feet below the cloud; and

(2) 2,000 feet horizontally from the cloud.

 

AC 107-2A

5.12 Operating Limitations for Small Unmanned Aircraft. Operations of the small unmanned aircraft must comply with the following limitations:

- Cannot be flown faster than a groundspeed of 87 knots (100 miles per hour (mph));

- Cannot be flown higher than 400 feet above ground level (AGL), unless flown within a 400-foot radius of a structure and does not fly higher than 400 feet above the structure’s immediate uppermost limit;

- Minimum visibility, as observed from the location of the CS, may not be less than 3 sm; and

- Minimum distance from clouds being no less than 500 feet below a cloud and no less than 2,000 feet horizontally from the cloud (§ 107.51).

Note: These operating limitations are intended, among other things, to support the remote pilot’s ability to identify hazardous conditions relating to encroaching aircraft or persons on the ground, and to take appropriate actions to maintain safety.

5.12.1  Determining Groundspeed. Many different types of small unmanned aircraft and different ways to determine groundspeed exist. This guidance will only touch on some of the possible means for the remote PIC to ensure the small unmanned aircraft does not exceed a groundspeed of 87 knots during flight operations. Examples of methods to ensure compliance with this limitation are: 

- Installing a Global Positioning System (GPS) device on the small unmanned aircraft that reports groundspeed information to the remote pilot, allowing the remote pilot to determine the wind direction and speed and calculate the small unmanned aircraft airspeed for a given direction of flight; 

- Timing the groundspeed of the small unmanned aircraft when it is flown between two or more fixed points, considering wind speed and direction between each point, then noting the power settings of the small unmanned aircraft to operate at or less than
87 knots groundspeed; or 

- Using the small unmanned aircraft’s manufacturer design limitations (e.g., installed groundspeed limiters). 

5.12.2  Determining Altitude. In order to comply with the maximum altitude requirements of part 107, a remote pilot may determine altitude by: 

- Installing a calibrated altitude reporting device on the small unmanned aircraft that reports the small unmanned aircraft altitude above mean sea level (MSL) to the remote pilot, who subtracts the MSL elevation of the CS from the small unmanned aircraft reported MSL altitude to determine the small unmanned aircraft AGL altitude above the terrain or structure; 

- Installing a GPS device on the small unmanned aircraft that has the capability of reporting MSL altitude to the remote pilot; 

- Having the remote pilot and VO pace off 400 feet from the small unmanned aircraft while it is on the ground to get a visual perspective of distance so that the remote pilot and VO can recognize and maintain that visual perspective (or closer) when the small unmanned aircraft is in flight; or 

- Using the known height of local rising terrain and/or structures as a reference. 

5.12.3 Visibility and Distance from Clouds. The remote PIC must determine that the visibility from the CS is at least 3 sm and that the small unmanned aircraft maintains at least
500 feet below clouds and at least 2,000 feet horizontally from clouds. Obtaining local aviation weather reports that include current and forecast weather conditions is one means of determining visibility and cloud clearance. If there is more than one local aviation reporting station near the operating area, the remote PIC should choose the closest one that is most representative of the terrain surrounding the operating area. If local aviation weather reports are not available, the remote PIC cannot operate the small unmanned aircraft until he or she is able to determine the required visibility and cloud clearances by other reliable means. The small unmanned aircraft cannot be operated above any cloud, and there cannot be obstructions to visibility, such as smoke or a cloud, between the small unmanned aircraft and the remote PIC (§ 107.39). 

 

In accordance with 14 CFR part 107, except when within a 400 feet radius of a structure, at what maximum altitude can you operate an sUAS?

  1. 500 feet above ground level (AGL)
  2. 400 feet above ground level (AGL)
  3. 600 feet above ground level (AGL)

UA.I.B.K22 - Requirements for a Remote Pilot certificate with an sUAS rating

14 CFR §107.11   Applicability.

This subpart applies to the operation of all civil small unmanned aircraft systems subject to this part.

 

14 CFR §107.12   Requirement for a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, no person may manipulate the flight controls of a small unmanned aircraft system unless:

(1) That person has a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating issued pursuant to subpart C of this part and satisfies the requirements of §107.65; or

(2) That person is under the direct supervision of a remote pilot in command and the remote pilot in command has the ability to immediately take direct control of the flight of the small unmanned aircraft.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, no person may act as a remote pilot in command unless that person has a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating issued pursuant to Subpart C of this part and satisfies the requirements of §107.65.

(c) The Administrator may, consistent with international standards, authorize an airman to operate a civil foreign-registered small unmanned aircraft without an FAA-issued remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating.

 

UA.I.B.K23 - Automated operations

UA.I.B.K24 - Civil twilight operations

UA.I.B.K25 - Night operations

See Daylight Operations on previous page.

UA.I.B.K26 - Transportation of property

UA.I.B.K27 - ATC transponder equipment prohibition

AC 107-2A

5.17 Remote Identification of Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Remote identification requirements are contained in part 89. The information contained in this AC covers the remote identification operational requirements that are relevant to all part 107 operators. Additional information related to remote identification is available in the following ACs:

- AC 89-1, Means of Compliance Process for Remote Identification of Unmanned Aircraft.

- AC 89-2, Declaration of Compliance Process for Remote Identification of Unmanned Aircraft.

5.17.1  After September 16, 2023, most small unmanned aircraft that are registered or required to be registered must comply with remote identification requirements. The serial number of a standard remote identification unmanned aircraft, or of the remote identification broadcast module, if one is installed on the unmanned aircraft, must be listed on the Certificate of Aircraft Registration. The serial number may only be listed on one Certificate of Aircraft Registration at a time. The remote identification broadcast module may be moved from one unmanned aircraft operated under part 107 to another, but the serial number must also be moved from the first aircraft’s Certificate of Aircraft Registration to the second aircraft’s certificate prior to operation. Small unmanned aircraft that are not required to be registered under part 48, such as those where the unmanned aircraft weighs 0.55 pounds or less, must comply with remote identification requirements when operated under any operating part for which registration is required. Remote identification provides data regarding the location and identification of small unmanned aircraft operating in the NAS. It also provides airspace awareness to the FAA, national security agencies, and law enforcement entities, which can be used to distinguish compliant airspace users from those potentially posing a safety or security risk. A list of unmanned aircraft by make and model that are compliant with remote identification will be found at https://www.faa.gov/uas, when developed.

5.17.2  Standard remote identification unmanned aircraft broadcast certain message elements over radio frequency (RF) spectrum. These message elements include: Unmanned Aircraft Identification (either the unmanned aircraft’s serial number or session ID); latitude, longitude, and geometric altitude of both the CS and the unmanned aircraft; the velocity of the unmanned aircraft (including horizontal and vertical speed and direction); a time mark; and an emergency status code (§ 89.110).

5.17.3  Small unmanned aircraft without remote identification. Small unmanned aircraft that are not standard remote identification unmanned aircraft may operate in one of two ways: the small unmanned aircraft may be equipped with a remote identification broadcast module, or the small unmanned aircraft may be operated within an FAA-recognized identification area (FRIA) (§ 89.115).

page32image3835374544

5.17.3.1 Unmanned aircraft equipped with remote identification modules may be integrated by the manufacturer (e.g., if a manufacturer upgraded or retrofit the aircraft) or a standalone broadcast module installed by the user secured to the unmanned aircraft prior to takeoff. The remote identification broadcast module broadcasts certain message elements directly from the unmanned aircraft over RF spectrum. These message elements include: the Unmanned Aircraft Identification, the unmanned aircraft’s serial number; latitude, longitude, and geometric altitude of the unmanned aircraft; latitude, longitude, and geometric altitude of the takeoff location; the velocity of the unmanned aircraft (including horizontal and vertical speed and direction); and a time mark. Small unmanned aircraft using a remote identification broadcast module must be operated within VLOS (§ 89.115(a)).

5.17.3.2 A person operating a small unmanned aircraft that is not a standard remote identification unmanned aircraft may also operate within VLOS within a FRIA, regardless of the type of operation conducted (e.g., part 91, 107, or other). You will be able to access a list of FRIAs at https://www.faa.gov/uas when available (§ 89.115).

 

 

UA.I.B.K28 - ADS-B out prohibition

14 CFR §107.53   Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out prohibition.

Unless otherwise authorized by the Administrator, no person may operate a small unmanned aircraft system under this part with ADS-B Out equipment in transmit mode.

UA.I.C.K1 - Offenses involving alcohol or drugs

 

14 CFR §107.57   Offenses involving alcohol or drugs.

(a) A conviction for the violation of any Federal or State statute relating to the growing, processing, manufacture, sale, disposition, possession, transportation, or importation of narcotic drugs, marijuana, or depressant or stimulant drugs or substances is grounds for:

(1) Denial of an application for a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating for a period of up to 1 year after the date of final conviction; or

(2) Suspension or revocation of a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating.

(b) Committing an act prohibited by §91.17(a) or §91.19(a) of this chapter is grounds for:

(1) Denial of an application for a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating for a period of up to 1 year after the date of that act; or

(2) Suspension or revocation of a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating.

 

UA.I.C.K2 - Consequences of refusing to submit to a drug or alcohol test or to furnish test results

14 CFR § 107.59 Refusal to submit to an alcohol test or to furnish test results

A refusal to submit to a test to indicate the percentage by weight of alcohol in the blood, when requested by a law enforcement officer in accordance with § 91.17(c) of this chapter, or a refusal to furnish or authorize the release of the test results requested by the Administrator in accordance with § 91.17(c) or (d) of this chapter, is grounds for: 

(a) Denial of an application for a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating for a period of up to 1 year after the date of that refusal; or

(b) Suspension or revocation of a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating.

 

UA.I.C.K3 - Eligibility requirements for a Remote Pilot certificate with an sUAS rating

14 CFR § 107.61 Eligibility

Subject to the provisions of §§ 107.57 and 107.59, in order to be eligible for a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating under this subpart, a person must:

(a) Be at least 16 years of age;

(b) Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. If the applicant is unable to meet one of these requirements due to medical reasons, the FAA may place such operating limitations on that applicant’s certificate as are necessary for the safe operation of the small unmanned aircraft;

(c) Not know or have reason to know that he or she has a physical or mental condition that would interfere with the safe operation of a small unmanned aircraft system; and

(d) Demonstrate aeronautical knowledge by satisfying one of the following conditions, in a manner acceptable to the Administrator:

(1) Pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test covering the areas of knowledge specified in §107.73; or

(2) If a person holds a pilot certificate (other than a student pilot certificate) issued under part 61 of this chapter and meets the flight review requirements specified in §61.56, complete training covering the areas of knowledge specified in §107.74.

UA.I.C.K4 - Aeronautical knowledge recency

14 CFR §107.65   Aeronautical knowledge recency.

A person may not exercise the privileges of a remote pilot in command with small UAS rating unless that person has accomplished one of the following in a manner acceptable to the Administrator within the previous 24 calendar months:

(a) Passed an initial aeronautical knowledge test covering the areas of knowledge specified in §107.73;

(b) Completed recurrent training covering the areas of knowledge specified in §107.73; or

(c) If a person holds a pilot certificate (other than a student pilot certificate) issued under part 61 of this chapter and meets the flight review requirements specified in §61.56, completed training covering the areas of knowledge specified in §107.74.

(d) A person who has passed a recurrent aeronautical knowledge test in a manner acceptable to the Administrator or who has satisfied the training requirement of paragraph (c) of this section prior to March 1, 2021 within the previous 24 calendar months is considered to be in compliance with the requirement of paragraph (b) or (c) of this section, as applicable.

UA.I.D.K1 - Waiver policy and requirements

14 CFR §107.200   Waiver policy and requirements.

(a) The Administrator may issue a certificate of waiver authorizing a deviation from any regulation specified in §107.205 if the Administrator finds that a proposed small UAS operation can safely be conducted under the terms of that certificate of waiver.

(b) A request for a certificate of waiver must contain a complete description of the proposed operation and justification that establishes that the operation can safely be conducted under the terms of a certificate of waiver.

(c) The Administrator may prescribe additional limitations that the Administrator considers necessary.

(d) A person who receives a certificate of waiver issued under this section:

(1) May deviate from the regulations of this part to the extent specified in the certificate of waiver; and

(2) Must comply with any conditions or limitations that are specified in the certificate of waiver.

 

14 CFR §107.205   List of regulations subject to waiver.

A certificate of waiver issued pursuant to §107.200 may authorize a deviation from the following regulations of this part:

(a) Section 107.25—Operation from a moving vehicle or aircraft. However, no waiver of this provision will be issued to allow the carriage of property of another by aircraft for compensation or hire.

(b) Section 107.29(a)(2) and (b)—Anti-collision light required for operations at night and during periods of civil twilight.

(c) Section 107.31—Visual line of sight aircraft operation. However, no waiver of this provision will be issued to allow the carriage of property of another by aircraft for compensation or hire.

(d) Section 107.33—Visual observer.

(e) Section 107.35—Operation of multiple small unmanned aircraft systems.

(f) Section 107.37(a)—Yielding the right of way.

(g) Section 107.39—Operation over people.

(h) Section 107.41—Operation in certain airspace.

(i) Section 107.51—Operating limitations for small unmanned aircraft.

(j) Section 107.145—Operations over moving vehicles.

 

 

AC 107-2A

5.20  Certificate of Waiver. Part 107 includes the option to apply for a CoW. This CoW will allow a small UAS operation to deviate from certain provisions of part 107 if the Administrator finds that the proposed operation can be safely conducted under the terms of that CoW (§ 107.200). A list of the sections of part 107 subject to waiver are listed below: 

- Section 107.25: Operation from a moving vehicle or aircraft. 

- Section 107.29(a)(2) and (b): Anti-collision light required for operations at night and during periods of civil twilight. 

- Section 107.31: Visual line of sight aircraft operation. However, no waiver of this provision will be issued to allow the carriage of property of another by aircraft for compensation or hire. 

- Section 107.33: Visual observer. 

- Section 107.35: Operation of multiple small unmanned aircraft systems. 

- Section 107.37(a): Yielding the right-of-way. 

- Section 107.39: Operation over people. 

- Section 107.41: Operation in certain airspace. 

- Section 107.51: Operating limitations for small unmanned aircraft. 

- Section 107.145: Operations over moving vehicles. 

5.20.1  Applying for a CoW. A CoW can be requested by following the instructions and submitting an application at https://www.faa.gov/uas/. 

5.20.2  Application Process. The application must contain a complete description of the proposed operation and a justification, including supporting data and documentation (as necessary), that establishes the proposed operation can safely be conducted under the terms of a CoW. A complete listing of Waiver Safety Explanation Guidelines is posted to the FAA’s website to assist waiver applicants in preparing their proposals and justifications for applications for waiver. They can be found at https://www.faa.gov/uas/commercial_opera tors/part_107_waivers/waiver_safety_explanation_guidelines/. Although not required by part 107, the FAA encourages waiver applicants to submit their application at least 60 days prior to the start of the proposed operation. The FAA will strive to complete review and adjudication of waivers within 60 days; however, the time required for the FAA to make a determination regarding waiver requests will vary based on the complexity of the request. The amount of data and analysis required as part of the application will be proportional to the specific relief that is requested. For example, a request to waive several sections of part 107 for an operation that takes place in a congested metropolitan area with heavy air traffic will likely require significantly more data and analyses than a request to waive a single section for an operation that takes place in a sparsely-populated area with minimal air traffic. If a CoW is granted, that certificate may include specific special provisions designed to ensure the small UAS operation may be conducted as safely as one conducted under the provisions of part 107. A listing of standard special provisions for part 107 waivers is available on the FAA’s website at https://www.faa.gov/uas/. 

 

5.21 Supplemental Operational Information. Appendix B, Supplemental Operational Information, contains expanded information regarding operational topics that should be considered prior to operations.

 

2021 April - Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS) - 8900.1

Volume 16. Unmanned Aircraft Systems

16-4-3-1    PROGRAM TRACKING AND REPORTING SUBSYSTEM (PTRS) ACTIVITY CODES.Issue Certificate of Waiver. Enter “1230” in the “Activity Code” box and in the “National Use” box enter “UASWAIVER”.

Indicates new/changed information.

16-4-3-3    OBJECTIVE. This section’s task is to determine whether to issue a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Form 7711-1, Certificate of Waiver or Authorization, to an applicant for the specific regulations stated, to the degree, and for the time period specified in the certificate. Completion of this task results in the issuance of a Certificate of Waiver (CoW) or the disapproval of the application for a CoW.

16-4-3-5    GENERAL. The CoW does not constitute a waiver of any state law, local ordinance, or required permission of local authorities or property owners. It shall be the applicant’s responsibility to resolve issues with those agencies.

Indicates new/changed information.

A.    Waiver Provisions. The provisions of the waiver shall apply, regardless of the statements contained in the application for the CoW. The waiver shall be considered void upon completion of the authorized Schedule of Events (SOE) or the latest time shown on the face of the CoW, whichever occurs earlier. The duration of the waiver may be up to 48 months. All flight operations conducted under the waiver shall be limited to the area specified in the CoW.

Indicates new/changed information.

B.    Regulatory Authority. The Flight Standards Service has the authority to grant or deny waivers of the regulations listed in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 107, § 107.205 (except as specified in subparagraph 3).

1)    Scope of Waivers. Waivers of part 107 sections and the attendant special provisions may vary in scope depending on the regulations that an applicant requests to be waived.
2)    Other Variances. Waivers will vary depending upon the type of operation and the location.

Indicates new/changed information.

3)    Air Traffic Organization (ATO). Waivers and authorizations related to § 107.41 (airspace) will be processed by ATO and issued separately from CoWs issued by Flight Standards for all other regulations identified in § 107.205.

16-4-3-7    APPLICATION FOR A CoW.

Indicates new/changed information.

A.    Online Applications for a CoW. Applications for a CoW can be made through the part 107 Waiver Application Portal/FAADroneZone at https://faadronezone.faa.gov.

B.    FAA Form 7711-2, Certificate of Waiver or Authorization Application. The FAA will accept applications for a CoW using FAA Form 7711-2, which can be obtained athttp://www.faa.gov/documentlibrary/media/form/faa7711-2.pdf.

Indicates new/changed information.

C.    Instructions. Instructions for the completion of the application can be found athttps://faadronezone.faa.gov/.

16-4-3-9    SUBMISSION. The online waiver application or FAA Form 7711-2 will be submitted to and processed by the General Aviation and Commercial Division.

Indicates new/changed information.

•    Applicants may submit an application for a CoW through the part 107 Waiver Application Portal athttps://faadronezone.faa.gov/.

•    Applicants may submit the completed application using FAA Form 7711-2 to 
9-AFS-800-Part107Waivers@faa.gov. General Aviation and Commercial Division administrative staff will enter the information from the application and open a PTRS record.

16-4-3-11    TASK OUTCOMES.

•    The assigned General Aviation and Commercial Division individual will process the application and recommend approval/disapproval, or send a request for additional information (RFI) to the applicant.

•    CoWs (FAA Form 7711-1) or disapproval letters will be signed by General Aviation and Commercial Division management or their designated representative.

•    Approved CoWs (FAA Form 7711-1) will be posted to the public website athttps://www.faa.gov/uas/request_waiver/waivers_granted. The public website will be updated upon completion of the approval or disapproval process.

•    The Enhanced Flight Standards Automation System (eFSAS) will be updated and the PTRS record will be closed. The completed FAA Form 7711-1, CoW, or disapproval letter will be emailed to the applicant and a copy will be retained by the General Aviation and Commercial Division.

 

16-4-5-1    GENERAL APPLICABILITY AND REQUIREMENTS. This section applies to Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) operations conducted in the National Airspace System (NAS) other than in active restricted and warning areas designated for aviation use or approved prohibited areas. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires aircraft to operate safely among all users of the NAS, including noncooperative aircraft (e.g., aircraft operated without a transponder), and other airborne operations not reliably identifiable by air traffic control (ATC) radar (e.g., balloons, gliders, and parachutists). Unless otherwise specifically authorized, UAS operators must use observers, either airborne or ground-based, to comply with Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 107 and part 91 requirements.

16-4-5-3    RISK MITIGATION. While considerable work is ongoing to develop a certifiable detect, sense, and avoid system (DSA) as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) with the “see and avoid” aspect of part 91, § 91.113, no current solution exists. (At a high level, DSA can be defined as: Detect—is something there? Sense—is it a threat/target? Avoid—maneuver to miss.) As a result, compliance with the see-and-avoid requirement and navigational awareness (a subset of situational awareness) are primary concerns in UAS operational approvals leading to imposition of AMOC. Risk mitigation for these two issues is normally based on the use of observers or other methods of maintaining flight separation and collision avoidance or “segregation”; however, they may also include other concepts or systems that an operator/applicant may propose for FAA review. The FAA only approves UAS flight operations that can be conducted at an Acceptable Level of Safety (ALoS). Refer to the current editions of:

•    Advisory Circular (AC) 120-92, Safety Management Systems for Aviation Service Providers.

•    FAA Order VS 8000.367, Aviation Safety (AVS) Safety Management System Requirements.

•    FAA Order 8000.368, Flight Standards Service Oversight.light Standards Service Oversight.

•    FAA Order 8000.369, Safety Management System.

•    FAA Order VS 8000.370, Aviation Safety (AVS) Safety Policy.

•    FAA Order 8040.4, Safety Risk Management Policy.

NOTE:  Risk mitigations that depend on the establishment of new types and categories of airspace are extremely difficult and time consuming. The NAS is established and configured through a rigorous regulatory process. Risk mitigations that result in the prohibition of the public’s right to transit airspace will require a very long lead time with no guarantee that they will be approved.

A.    See-and-Avoid Strategies. It is the operator/applicant’s responsibility to mitigate risk and ensure that the remote pilot in command (PIC), person manipulating the controls, and visual observer (VO) are able to see and avoid other aircraft and property when operating the unmanned aircraft (UA).

B.    Risk Mitigation Responsibility. It is the operator/applicant’s responsibility to demonstrate that the risk of injury to persons or property along the flight path is appropriately mitigated. Aircraft with performance characteristics that impede, delay, or divert other normal air traffic operations may be restricted in their operations. It is the responsibility of the aviation safety inspector (ASI) to assess these risks and consider them when developing work programs. The Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) should create work programs based on the areas of highest risk levels consistent with the FAA guidance on risk-based decision making to control risk to the lowest acceptable levels.

16-4-5-5    SYSTEM CONSIDERATIONS FOR UAS.

A.    Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance Systems (TCAS). The use of TCAS by UAS has not been validated as an acceptable alternative for see-and-avoid requirements, and is not an approved means of mitigation for UAS see-and-avoid requirements or strategies.

Indicates new/changed information.

B.    Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B). A precise satellite-based surveillance system. ADS-B Out uses Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology to determine an aircraft’s location, airspeed, and other data, and broadcasts that information to a network of ground stations, which relay the data to ATC displays and to nearby aircraft equipped to receive the data via ADS-B In. ADS-B is not approved for use with UAS at this time.

C.    Onboard Cameras/Sensors. Although onboard cameras and sensors positioned to observe targets on the ground have demonstrated some capability, their use in detecting airborne operations for the purpose of segregation is still quite limited. To date, these types of systems have not been approved as a sole mitigation in the see-and-avoid risk assessment.

D.    Use of Equipment in Lieu of VOs.

1)    Any equipment proposed for use on UAS to accomplish the function of see and avoid in lieu of VOs must:
a)    Be certified as an aircraft system and equipment using standards, requirements, and processes commensurate with installation of equipment in aircraft by a recognized airworthiness authority.
b)    Meet the requirements of 14 CFR part 25, § 25.1309, or equivalent process, for any UAS installation, regardless of its size, performance, or maximum takeoff weight (MTOW).

Indicates new/changed information.

NOTE:  For other equipment that is not proposed for use in meeting see-and-avoid requirements, 14 CFR part 23, § 23.2510, or an equivalent process, should be used.

2)    It is the responsibility of the operator/applicant to show that the contemplated standards, requirements, and processes meet an ALoS.

E.    Radar and Other Sensors. If the operator/applicant utilizes special types of radar systems or other sensors to mitigate risk, they must provide supporting data which demonstrates the following can be accomplished safely:

1)    Both cooperative and noncooperative traffic can be detected and tracked to ensure appropriate separation and collision avoidance.
2)    The proposed system can effectively mitigate a potential collision.
3)    Operators are suitably trained and equipped to use them effectively.

Indicates new/changed information.

4)    Procedures are in place for the remote PIC to effectively use the data.

F.    Lost Link Points (LLP).

1)    LLPs are defined as a point, or sequence of points, where the aircraft will proceed and hold at a specified altitude, for a specified period of time, in the event the command and control link to the aircraft is lost. The aircraft utilize high levels of automation to hold, or loiter, at the LLP until the control link with the aircraft is restored or the specified time elapses. If the time period elapses, the aircraft may autoland, proceed to another LLP in an attempt to regain the control link, or proceed to a Flight Termination Point (FTP) for flight termination. LLPs may be used as FTPs. In this case, the aircraft may loiter at the LLP/FTP until link is reestablished or fuel exhaustion occurs.
2)    For areas where multiple or concurrent UAS operations are authorized in the same operational area, a segregation plan must be in place in the event of a simultaneous lost link scenario. The deconfliction plan may include altitude offsets and horizontal separation by using independent LLPs whenever possible.

Indicates new/changed information.

G.    Flight Termination System (FTS). It is highly desirable that all UAS have system redundancies and independent functionality to ensure the overall safety and predictability of the system. UAS that lack these characteristics may be required to have an FTS whose architecture and activation are independent of the UAS system and can be activated automatically or manually by the remote PIC to safeguard the public.

H.    Spectrum Authorization.

1)    Every UAS operator must have the appropriate National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) or Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorization/approval to transmit on the radio frequencies (RF) used for UAS uplink and downlink of control, telemetry, and payload information.
2)    Non-Federal public agencies, such as universities and state/local law enforcement, and all civil UAS operators generally require a license from the FCC as authorization to transmit on frequencies other than those in the unlicensed bands (900 megahertz (MHz), 2.4 gigahertz (GHz), and 5.8 GHz). This generally will be in the form of an experimental radio license or a special temporary authority (STA) issued by the FCC. Non‑Federal public agencies and civil UAS operators that operate systems using frequencies assigned to the Federal Government (e.g., the Department of Defense (DOD)) must demonstrate they have the proper authorization through FCC-issued documentation.
3)    DOD agencies will typically demonstrate UAS spectrum authorization through an STA issued by the NTIA or a frequency assignment in the NTIA-administered Government Master File (GMF). Authorizations issued under Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations (47 CFR) part 300, in the NTIA Manual, Chapter 7, paragraph 7.11, Use of Frequencies by Certain Experimental Stations, are not appropriate for UAS operations.
4)    Federal public agencies other than the DOD, such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP), also need an STA issued by NTIA or a frequency assignment in the NTIA-administered GMF. This is especially important for systems designed to operate on frequencies assigned to the DOD.

16-4-5-7    OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR UAS. Unless operating in an active restricted or warning area designated for aviation use, or approved prohibited areas, UAS operations must adhere to the following requirements.

Indicates new/changed information.

A.    Observer Requirement. Model aircraft and part 107 operations do not normally require the use of VOs. If the UAS operation authorization requires a VO, the VO may be ground-based or airborne on board a dedicated chase aircraft. A VO must be positioned to assist the remote PIC to exercise the see-and-avoid responsibilities required by §§ 91.111 and 91.113, by scanning the area around the aircraft for potentially conflicting traffic and assisting the remote PIC with navigational awareness.

1)    VOs must:

Indicates new/changed information.

a)    Assist the remote PIC in not allowing the aircraft to operate beyond the Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) limit.

Indicates new/changed information.

b)    Be able to see the aircraft and the surrounding airspace sufficiently to assist the remote PIC with:

•    Determining the UA’s proximity to all aviation activities and other hazards (e.g., terrain, weather, and structures);

•    Exercising effective control of the UA;

•    Complying with §§ 91.111 and 91.113; and

•    Preventing the UA from creating a collision hazard.

Indicates new/changed information.

c)    Inform the remote PIC before losing sufficient visual contact with the UA or previously sighted collision hazard. This distance is predicated on the observer’s normal vision.

NOTE:  Normal vision may include use of corrective lenses, spectacles, and contact lenses as necessary.

2)    Because of field of view (FOV) and distortion issues with aids to vision such as binoculars, field glasses, night vision devices, or telephoto lenses, these are allowed only for augmentation of the observer’s visual capability; they cannot be used as the primary means of visual contact. When using other aids to vision, VOs must use caution to ensure the aircraft remains within normal VLOS of the observer. These aids to vision are not to be confused with corrective lenses or contact lenses, which do not alter the FOV or distort vision.

Indicates new/changed information.

3)    The responsibility of ensuring the safety of flight and adequate visual range coverage to avoid any potential collisions remains with the remote PIC. The remote PIC for each UAS operation must identify a location from which the observer will perform his or her duties. This location will be selected to afford the best available view of the entire area within which the operation is to be conducted.

Indicates new/changed information.

4)    Daisy chaining of observers to increase operational distance is not normally approved; however, an operator or applicant may provide a safety case for daisy chaining in accordance with Volume 16, Chapter 4, Section 3, by demonstrating an acceptable level of risk to the NAS and requesting a waiver.
5)    A good practice for observers is to be in place 30 minutes prior to night operations to ensure dark adaptation.

B.    ATC Communications Requirements.

1)    Model aircraft and part 107 operations do not normally require radio equipage. If the UAS operation authorization requires radio equipage the UAS pilot must establish and maintain direct two-way radio communication with appropriate ATC facilities anytime:
a)    The aircraft is being operated in Class A or D airspace (under § 91.135 or § 91.129) or, when required, in Class E and G airspace (under § 91.127 or § 91.126).
b)    The aircraft is being operated under instrument flight rules (IFR).
c)    It is stipulated under the requirements of any issued FAA waiver or authorizations.
2)    It is preferred that communications between the UAS pilot and ATC be established through onboard radio equipment to provide a voice relay; however, for IFR flight this method of transmission is required.

Indicates new/changed information.Indicates new/changed information.

C.    Intercommunications Requirements. Any VO, sensor operator, or other person charged with providing see-and-avoid assistance must have immediate communication with the remote PIC. If a chase aircraft is being utilized, immediate communication between the chase aircraft and the remote PIC is required at all times. If the remote PIC is in communication with ATC, monitoring of the ATC frequency by all UAS crewmembers (pilots, observers, and chase pilots) is recommended for shared situational and navigational awareness. However, unless it is approved for others to do so, the remote PIC is the only crewmember that will communicate with ATC.

Indicates new/changed information.Indicates new/changed information.

D.    Electronic Devices. The use of electronic devices (including cell phones) is not permitted other than for mission-required usage. Use of electronic devices must not interfere with the UAS. The use of electronic devices (including cell phones) is not authorized for primary communication with ATC unless authorized by a Form 7711-1, Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (CoW/A), or Special Airworthiness Certificate operating limitations.

E.    Dropping Objects/Expendable Stores or Hazardous Materials (Hazmat). Carriage of hazmat is prohibited under part 107. Objects may be dropped from UAS operating in accordance with part 107, § 107.23 if they do not create an undue hazard to persons or property. For operations other than part 107, if the intended UAS operation includes the carriage, dropping, or spraying of aircraft stores outside of active restricted or warning area airspace designated for aviation use, or approved prohibited areas, the operator/applicant must ensure that specific approval is listed in the CoW/A (or Special Airworthiness Certificate operating limitations), all operational risks have been sufficiently mitigated as required by part 91 or part 107, and the hazmat requirements in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR) have been met, if hazmat will be carried. The operator/applicant must provide to the FAA acceptable procedures for hung stores and loss of control link while carrying stores. A similar case must be made for hazmat carried aboard the aircraft and, if approved, will be listed in the special provision section of the CoW/A, or Special Airworthiness Certificate operating limitations.

F.    Flight Over Congested Areas. Part 107 prohibits operations over nonparticipants. UAS operations over nonparticipants may be approved under the terms of a waiver, conditions of an exemption, where the level of airworthiness allows, or in emergency or national disaster relief situations if the proposed mitigation strategies are found to be acceptable.

G.    Aviation Event/Air Show. An operator is required to provide a safety case in accordance with Volume 16, Chapter 4 that demonstrates an ALoS and must receive a separate aviation event/air show waiver in accordance with this order.

H.    Flight Over Heavily Trafficked Roads or Open-Air Assembly of People. UAS operations must avoid these areas, except where the level of airworthiness allows. If flight in these areas is required, the operator/applicant is required to support proposed mitigations with system safety cases that indicate the operations can be conducted safely. Additionally, it is the operator/applicant’s responsibility to demonstrate that risk of injury to persons or property along the flightpath has been mitigated to an acceptable level. UAS with performance characteristics that impede, delay, or divert other air traffic operations may be restricted in their operations. Refer to AC 120-92 and Order 8000.369.

I.    Day/Night Operations.

1)    Day Operations. UAS operations outside of Class A Airspace, active restricted or warning areas designated for aviation use, or approved prohibited areas, will be conducted during daylight hours unless otherwise authorized.
2)    Night Operations.
a)    Night operations may be considered if the operator/applicant provides a safety case and sufficient mitigation to avoid collision hazards at night. Refer to § 107.29 for night operations.
b)    UAS night operations are those operations that occur between the end of evening civil twilight and the beginning of morning civil twilight, as published in the American Air Almanac, converted to local time. (This is equal to approximately 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise, except in Alaska.) Remote pilots and observers should be in place 30 minutes prior to night operations to ensure dark adaptation.

Indicates new/changed information.

J.    Flights Below Class A Airspace. All UAS operations outside of active restricted/warning/Special Security Instructions (SSI) airspace designated for aviation use, or approved prohibited areas must be conducted in visual meteorological conditions (VMC) if using ground or airborne VOs. In addition, the following weather requirements apply:

Indicates new/changed information.

1)    If on IFR flight, remain clear of clouds. This requirement does not relieve the remote PIC from following the ATC clearance. According to § 107.19 the remote PIC retains responsibility for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.
2)    If on a visual flight, maintain § 107.51 cloud clearances.
a)    Special VFR is not permitted.
b)    For chase aircraft, no less than 5 statute miles (sm) in-flight visibility.

K.    Automation in UAS Operations. Although it is possible to have a completely manual (direct pilot intervention) UAS, the majority of UAS utilize high levels of automation to a certain degree. Only those UAS which have the capability of direct pilot intervention will be allowed in the NAS outside of active restricted or warning areas designated for aviation use, or approved prohibited areas. Because the pilot may be technically considered out-of-the-loop in a lost link scenario, this restriction does not apply to UAS operating under lost link.

L.    Crew Resource Management (CRM). UAS crewmembers must be CRM knowledgeable. Refer to AC 120-51, Crew Resource Management Training, for best practices in UAS operations. The remote PIC of a UAS must ensure no activities other than those duties required for safe flight operation are performed. No UAS crewmember may engage in any activities unrelated to those required for safe operation of the UAS during critical phases of flight such as launch/takeoff and landing/recovery.

Indicates new/changed information.Indicates new/changed information.

M.    Sterile Cockpit. Operators are encouraged to comply with AC 120-71, Standard Operating Procedures for Flight Deck Crewmembers, or the FAA-recognized equivalent, for ensuring the remote PIC implements sterile cockpit procedures. During critical phases of flight, including all ground operations, takeoff, and landing, and all other flight operations in which safety or mission accomplishment might be compromised by distractions, no crewmember may perform any duties not required for the safe operation of the aircraft. No crewmember may engage in, nor may any remote PIC permit, any activity during a critical phase of flight which could distract any crewmember from the performance of his or her duties or interfere in any way with the proper conduct of those duties.

N.    Operating Under IFR. (Public Aircraft Operators) Reserved.

O.    Chase Aircraft Operations. The chase aircraft:

1)    Must remain at a safe distance from the UA to ensure collision avoidance if a malfunction occurs.

Indicates new/changed information.

2)    Must remain close enough to the UA to provide visual detection of any conflicting aircraft and advise the remote PIC of the situation.
3)    Must remain within radio control range of the UA to maintain appropriate signal coverage for flight control or activation of the FTS, for all operations when the UA is being flown by a pilot in the chase aircraft.
4)    May be required to have communication with appropriate ATC facilities based on the operator’s application or mission profile.
5)    Is not required by FAA in active restricted airspace designated for aviation use, or approved prohibited airspace.
6)    Is not required for Optionally Piloted Aircraft (OPA) if a qualified VO is on board.
7)    Is not required in Class A airspace unless stipulated in the CoW/A or Special Airworthiness Certificate operating limitations.
8)    Operations must be conducted in accordance with the special provisions listed in the approved CoW/A or Special Airworthiness Certificate operating limitations.
9)    Must maintain 5 sm in-flight visibility restrictions.
10)    Pilot/observer:
a)    Will not concurrently perform either observer or UAS pilot duties along with chase pilot duties unless otherwise authorized.
b)    Must maintain direct voice communication with the UAS pilot.
11)    Pilots operating as a formation flight will immediately notify ATC if they are using a nonstandard formation. Nonstandard formations must be preapproved by ATC. Operators will adhere to FAA Order JO 7610.4, Special Operations, as applicable. See Volume 16, Chapter 1, Section 2, for definitions of standard and nonstandard formations.
12)    Operations will not be conducted in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC).
13)    Operations will be thoroughly planned and briefed.
14)    During a lost link situation, the pilot must be notified immediately along with ATC. The chase pilot will report to ATC that the UA is performing lost link procedures as planned or if deviations are occurring.

Indicates new/changed information.Indicates new/changed information.

15)    Pilot will ensure safe separation with the UA, and immediately notify ATC and the remote PIC during loss of visual contact with the UA by both the chase pilot and observer, when such contact cannot be promptly reestablished. The remote PIC will either execute lost link procedures to facilitate a rejoin, recover the UA, or terminate the flight as appropriate.

P.    Airspace Considerations by Airspace Designation.

NOTE:  UAS operating in airspace designated as Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) airspace must comply with § 91.180. The following guidance does not apply to part 107 operations. UAS operating under part 107 must comply with § 107.41 operation in certain airspace.

1)    Class A. Observers are not normally required in Class A. All UAS must be operating under IFR and on an instrument flight plan.
2)    Class B. UAS operations are currently not authorized. Class B airspace contains terminal areas with the highest density of manned aircraft in the NAS. On a case-by-case basis, the FAA may consider exceptional circumstances. For public aircraft, a letter of agreement (LOA) between the affected ATC facility and the operator describing UAS segregation procedures is required. For civil aircraft, segregation procedures should be incorporated into the operating limitations. UAS operations must not impede, delay, or divert other Class B operations.
3)    Class C (and All Airspace from the Surface Upward to 10,000 Feet Mean Sea Level (MSL) Within 30 Nautical Miles (NM) of an Airport Listed in Part 91 Appendix D, Section 1). UAS operations approved for Class C must comply with §§ 91.130 and 91.215. Requests for operations without this equipment will be handled on a case-by-case basis and may be approved if sufficiently mitigated and a safety case has been established. For public aircraft, an LOA between the affected ATC facility and the operator describing UAS segregation procedures may be required. For civil aircraft, segregation procedures should be incorporated into the operating limitations. UAS operations must not impede, delay, or divert other Class C operations.
4)    Class D. Requests for approval will be handled on a case-by-case basis and may be approved if sufficiently mitigated. UAS operations approved for Class D must comply with § 91.129. For public aircraft, an LOA between the affected ATC facility and the operator describing UAS segregation procedures may be required. For civil aircraft, segregation procedures should be incorporated into the operating limitations. UAS operations must not impede, delay, or divert other Class D operations.
5)    Class E. If there is an operating ATC tower, Class D rules may apply. UAS operations approved for Class E must comply with § 91.127. For public aircraft, an LOA between the affected ATC facility and the operator describing UAS segregation procedures may be required. For civil aircraft, segregation procedures should be incorporated into the operating limitations. UAS operations must not impede, delay, or divert other Class E operations.
6)    Class G. UAS operations approved for Class G must comply with § 91.126.

Indicates new/changed information.

Q.    ATC Visual Approach Clearances. The remote PIC must not accept a visual approach clearance, an instruction to follow another aircraft by visual means, or a clearance to maintain visual separation from another aircraft.

R.    In-Flight Emergencies.

Indicates new/changed information.

1)    The remote PIC will notify ATC of any in-flight emergency or aircraft accident as soon as practical.

Indicates new/changed information.

2)    The remote PIC will notify ATC of any loss of control link as soon as practical. Loss of control link scenarios may be handled by ATC as a reportable incident.

 

 

Request a Part 107 Waiver or Operation in Controlled Airspace

 

Waiver Safety Explanation Guidelines for Part 107 Waiver Applications

An application for a Certificate of Waiver, issued in accordance with 14 CFR § 107.200, must provide justification that the operation can be safely conducted by satisfying the performance-based standards listed.

performance_based_standards.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [201.3 KB]

The FAA may approve your application for a waiver of provisions in part 107 only when it has been determined that the proposed operation:

  1. Involves public aircraft or air carrier operations
  2. Will be conducted outside of the United States
  3. Can be safely conducted under the terms of that certificate of waiver

 

When requesting a waiver, the required documents should be presented to the FAA at least how many calendar days prior to the planned operation?

  1. 30 days
  2. 10 days
  3. 90 days

 

FAA's Waiver Application Instructions

Waiver Safety Explanation Guidelines for Part 107 Waiver Applications

 

In accordance with Section 352 of the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act, the FAA has published a representative sample of the safety justifications for small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) waivers and airspace authorizations. Here are the samples below:

107_25_for_section_352.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [77.6 KB]
107_31_for_section_352.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [60.4 KB]
107_35_for_section_352.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [43.7 KB]
107_39_for_section_352.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [50.7 KB]
107_51_a_for_section_352.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [33.3 KB]
107_51_b_for_section_352.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [67.8 KB]
107_51_c_for_section_352.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [25.9 KB]
107_51_d_for_section_352.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [35.1 KB]

 

107.41 Authorization or Waiver?

What is airspace authorization, and how is it different from a 107.41 airspace waiver?

As an FAA-certified remote pilot under the Part 107 regulations, if you need to operate in Class B, C, D, or E airspace, you need to request airspace authorization or a 107.41 airspace waiver, and get prior approval to operate in that airspace.

According to the FAA Drone Zone:

When applying for airspace authorization. “Use this to request access to controlled airspace. An airspace authorization is the mechanism by which an operator may seek Air Traffic Control (ATC) approval to operate in controlled airspace. Authorizations can be for a specific location or for broad areas governed by a single ATC jurisdiction.”

When applying for an airspace waiver. Use this to request a waiver from 14 C.F.R. 107.41. Airspace Waivers may be issued where the applicant can demonstrate safety mitigations through equipage, technology and or operational parameters that their UAS can safely operate in controlled airspace without seeking ATC authorization prior to each operation. Processing times for airspace waivers are significantly longer than processing times for airspace authorizations.

If you want to fly in controlled airspace your best bet is likely to pursue a controlled airspace authorization, and not a 107.41 airspace waiver.

 

The terms “waiver” and “airspace authorization” are often used in the same sentence, and it can seem like they are the exact same thing.

Requesting airspace authorization means that you are asking to operate/fly in controlled airspace, or for drone pilots, Class B, C, D, or E:

Class B airspace is generally airspace from the surface to 10,000 feet mean-sea-level (MSL) surrounding the nation’s busiest airports in terms of airport operations or passenger enplanements. You can think of the “B” in Class B airspace as standing for “big city” airports.

Class C airspace is generally airspace from the surface to 4,000 feet above the airport elevation (AGL) (charted in MSL) surrounding those airports that have an operational control tower, are serviced by a radar approach control, and have a certain number of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations or passenger enplanements. You can think of the “C” in Class C airspace as standing for “cities.” So not the big cities of Class B airspace, but still sizable city airports.

Class D airspace is generally airspace from the surface to 2,500 feet AGL (charted in MSL) surrounding those airports that have an operational control tower. Small city airports with control towers are usually designated as Class D airspace. You can associate the “D” in Class D airspace with “diminutive” or “dime-sized.”

Class E airspace almost always has one of four lower limits: the surface, 700 feet AGL, 1,200 feet AGL or, in some sparsely populated areas, 14,500 feet MSL. Most of the country has a Class E airspace lower limit of 700 feet AGL and/or 1,200 feet AGL. The upper limit of Class E airspace is up to but not including 18,000 feet MSL, or when Class E airspace runs into the upside-down wedding cake airspace of Class B or Class C. For a drone pilot, if you’d like to operate in Class E airspace, you’ll need to get permission.

 

Checklist

Set up an account with FAADroneZone

Navigate to the Part 107 Waivers & Authorizations section, and click the button that says, Create Part 107 Waiver/Authorization.

Select Airspace Authorization

Select Operation Title – you need a primary title for your intended operation. Be clear and specific, so something like: Ongoing Residential Roof Inspections in BNA Class C Airspace

Select Responsible Party – the Responsible Party is not required to hold a Remote Pilot Certificate and can be the representative of an organization.

The Responsible Party you put down is accountable for a list of responsibilities, which include maintaining records demonstrating compliance with FAA requirements; being accessible by the ATC; and maintaining a list of pilots and make / model of all aircraft involved in the operation. See the full list of responsibilities on pages 1 and 2 of FAA Waiver Application Instructions

 

Select Operation Parameters - Pay attention to all the form field instructions, like Dates cannot be in the past or exceed 24 months from today’s date.

When it comes to your Proposed Location of Operation, the more specific you can be here, the better. Provide city, state, and specific identifying characteristics, including landmarks.

 

Here is an example:

Project center point is intersection of ______________. Nearest street address is ______________. We intend to fly over the ______________ to capture photos and video for construction progress monitoring of the road/rail separation project. Flight will focus on bridge construction near this project center point as well as the railroad tracks affected by this project.

Use the Latitude and Longitude fields to identify the center point of your mission. The center point does not necessarily have to be where you are starting your mission, since factors such as weather and terrain may make starting in the center of your proposed area of operation impractical.

If you need help converting latitude and longitude decimal measurements for a particular location to the degrees, minutes, and seconds format needed in this application, you can use a conversion tool

 

Best practice is to use the center of the airport as the GPS location and to request Blanket Area / Wide Area authorization for that airport’s entire controlled airspace. This is the clearest way to request the most amount of airspace around an airport possible.

 

Description of Your Proposed Operation - it is important to note that the instructions for this open form field ask not just for a description, but also for “Purpose of operation and method by which the proposed operation can be safely conducted.”

Although FAA instructions for filling out the form state that this justification is only required for airspace waivers, and not airspace authorization, your best bet is to provide a clear safety justification for an airspace authorization request as well.

 

Here is an example of a successful application:

I intend to obtain site photographs/video of the construction progression at this location which was designed by COMPANY. The sUAS described within will be configured to limit vertical AGL altitude to 200ft and horizontal travel will remain within VLOS. We intend to utilize multiple launch points at this location to ensure the sUAS remains within VLOS. Aside from requesting to fly within this Class C airspace, we will comply with all other Part 107 regulations. In addition to complying with part 107, we intend to have a 2 man crew comprised of both a PIC & a designated VO to alert the PIC of any potential aircraft entering the vicinity. ATC can reach either of us if needed via our cell number provided in this request. PIC will also post a NOTAM via www.1800wxbrief.com, a minimum of 24-hour advance notice of this flight to inform pilots and ATC of specifics of the flight which will appear on sectional VFRs for any interested parties. We feel this request will benefit our project by allowing us the freedom to operate safely and as needed in this Class C airspace.

 

Here is an example of a Class D airspace authorization.

Proposed area of operations:

We request that we are able to fly in the Class D airspace around Sioux Gateway Airport (SUX), Sioux City, Iowa.

The airport coordinates are:

42-24-09.4000N / 096-23-03.7000W
42-24.156667N / 096-23.061667W
42.4026111 / -96.3843611
(estimated)

We intend to capture photos and video for clients who have property within the Class D airspace and have requested that we provide photos and videos of their property for various purposes such as marketing, construction and/or inspection. We agree that no flights will take place within 1 mile of the airport coordinates.

Description of your proposed operation:

We intend to obtain site photographs/video of various locations as requested by our clients during the upcoming summer months where our local weather permits the safe operation of our sUAS. The sUAS described within will be configured to limit vertical AGL altitude to 200ft and horizontal travel will remain within VLOS. We will ensure the sUAS remains within VLOS. Aside from requesting to fly within this Class D airspace, we will comply with all other Part 107 regulations. In addition to complying with part 107, we intend to have a 2 person crew comprised of both a PIC & a designated VO to alert the PIC of any potential aircraft entering the vicinity. We will give way to all aircraft and will be especially aware of our distance from runway approaches.  ATC can reach us if needed via our cell number provided in this request.  PIC will also provide a minimum of 24-hour advance notice of this flight to ATC of specifics of the flight: location, anticipated take-off time, anticipated end of operation, and current cell phone numbers of PIC and VO.  PIC will also provide notice at the actual time of launch and landing of each flight to ATC if they so desire. We feel this request will benefit our project by allowing us the freedom to operate safely and as needed in this Class D airspace.  The majority of the flights we anticipate will fall near the outer limits of the airspace.

 

After filling out this section of the application, review and then to submit your information to the FAA.

 

 

Contact Me

Sarah Nilsson, J.D., Ph.D., MAS

 

602 561 8665

 

sarah@sarahnilsson.org

 

You can also fill out my 

online form.

Get Social with Me

View Sarah J. Nilsson's profile on LinkedIn

 

 

Legal Disclaimer

The information on this website is for EDUCATIONAL purposes only and DOES NOT constitute legal advice. 

While the author of this website is an attorney, she is not YOUR attorney, nor are you her client, until you enter into a written agreement with Nilsson Law, PLLC to provide legal services.

In no event shall Sarah Nilsson be liable for any special, indirect, or consequential damages relating to this material, for any use of this website, or for any other hyperlinked website.

 

 

 

 

Steward of 

Little Free Library

Print Print | Sitemap
© Sarah Nilsson