It’s full steam ahead for the FAA’s fast-track process of approving drones for commercial use.
The agency surpassed 200 and is chugging towards 250 exemptions under Section 333. That’s almost 100 more exemptions granted than last week (157 at that time). As of Monday, the FAA listed more than 100 waiver petitions on its dockets for consideration.
Regulators see Section 333 as a fast-track method of improving American drone competitiveness across a growing global industry while also curtailing illegal operations and improving safety.
The section of the agency’s 2012 legislation governing UAS, 333 grants commercial drone users permission to operate both rotorcraft and fixed-winged UAVs. Applicants must obtain a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) that ensures the airspace for their proposed operations is safe, and that they have taken proper steps to see and avoid other aircraft.
“If the petitions are being “reviewed” but not analyzed, why not issue a blanket exemption? Especially because in the course of these reviews and speeded up exemptions, mistakes are going to happen … The UAS America Fund, represented by the drone attorney Brendan Schulman, has made the FAA’s job pretty easy in this respect by filing for such a blanket exemption this past December. Rather than speed carelessly through the exemption process, or await comments on this proposal as it requested in its formal notice of proposed rulemaking in February, the FAA should focus on expeditiously granting a blanket exemption.”
Some exemptions recently granted include:
Daniel W Achatz: Real estate aerial imaging services;
MT Real Estate, LLC: Aerial photography for the education of real estate professionals and real estate marketing purposes;
Just 1 UAV: UAS Flight Instruction Program to introduce students to the elements of UAS operation from a commercial and noncommercial perspective and how these operations must fit into the National Airspace System;
Alaska Aerial Media, LLC: Aerial videography and cinematography to enhance academic community awareness for those individuals and companies unfamiliar with the geographical layout of the Anchorage area, and pursue implementation of emergency use UAS systems with public entities;
Soar Environmental Consulting: Inspections of hydroelectric system assets, specifically remote penstocks, flow lines, dams, and reservoirs; remote or impassable section of natural gas and/or oil pipelines; and bridges supporting gas and oil pipelines;
ArrowData: Electronic news gathering in Las Vegas, Nevada;
Wild Rabbit Productions: Aerial photography for the motion picture and television industry for scripted closed set filming;
Douglas R. Dorrer: Educational community outreach, aerial real property and pre/post environmental remediation surveys, and not-for-profit Search and Rescue operations supporting local law enforcement;
Launchit Technologies: Aerial imaging of structures, equipment condition, safety and monitoring of telecommunication/cellular towers;
UAV-IQ: Precision photogrammetry and crop scouting at the resolutions necessary for precision agriculture;
Stringer News Service: Aerial photography/videography for the television, print and online news industry.
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.
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