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 up to 400 feet anywhere in the country except restricted airspace and other areas, such as major cities, where the agency prohibits UAS operations.
“This is another milestone in our effort to change the traditional speed of government,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “Expanding the authorized airspace for these operations means government and industry can carry out unmanned aircraft missions more quickly and with less red tape.”
The FAA expects the move will reduce the workload for COA applications for industry UAS operators, government agencies and the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization. The agency also estimates the move will lessen the need for individual COAs by 30 to 40 percent. Other provisions of an FAA authorization, such as registering the UAS and making sure pilots have the proper certification, still apply.
Under the blanket COA, the FAA will permit flights at or below 400 feet for UAS operators with a Section 333 exemption for aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds and for government UAS operations. Operators must fly under daytime Visual Flight Rules, keep the UAS within visual line of sight of the pilot and stay certain distances away from airports or heliports:
- Five nautical miles (NM) from an airport having an operational control tower; or
- Three NM from an airport with a published instrument flight procedure, but not an operational tower; or
- Two NM from an airport without a published instrument flight procedure or an operational tower; or
- Two NM from a heliport with a published instrument flight procedure.
- Dutch EMS operator picks P&W engines for new H135s
- Possible US Foreign Military Sale to the UK
- Airbus to showcase H135 as future Navy helicopter
- Dart signs new AMC during Helitech 2018
- Visit Bell at #IACP2018
- New helicopter hoist will help rescue injured firefighters in Nevada
- Bell and Yamato announce collaboration
- Dart receives EASA certification for EC130/H130 Cable Cutter System
- Enstrom announces 280FX Sale at Helitech 2018
- 1st H125 delivered with BLR FastFin kit
- Dart opens new service center in Amsterdam
- HeliOffshore held the 2nd in a series of Human Hazard Analysis workshops
- Avic ready to export Z-19 attack helicopter
- CH-53K running short of crucial part
- Te Anau Retains Helicopter Base
- Airbus to showcase at Euronaval
- Portuguese Air Force orders 5 AW119Kx
- Helitech to change name as expo adapts to changing market
- Kopter announces new distributor for the Nordic countries
- CHC Australia Announces Australian Apprentices