Inside Unmanned Systems

OCT-NOV 2017

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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AIR REGULATION 38 unmanned systems inside   October/November 2017 FAA provides guidance for Part 107 Waiver Applications. by Joanne Costin I f you've been frustrated by disapprovals of Part 107 waiver requests, you aren't alone. The numbers tell the story. The vast majority of operations waivers re- quested since Part 107 regulation for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) went into effect in August 2016 have been disapproved. Ninety-nine percent of those requesting to f ly beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) or over people have been denied as have 70 percent of requests for night operations. The high percentage of disapprovals un- derscores the difficulty non-aviation organi- zations face as they seek to understand how things work in the world of aviation. Even those well-versed in aviation culture have been frustrated by the waiver process. "I applaud the FAA for what they are doing. They are trying to get their arms around a growing industry while making sure people are safe, but there is a chal- lenge with standardization as they add people," said Anthony Pucciarella, director of Operations for the University of Maryland UAS Test Site. "You could put in the exact same night- waiver request and get two different respons- es from the FA A," he said. "They don't tell you exactly what's wrong. There is no stan- dard yet, but internally, they need to ensure their requirements are applied consistently." "The FAA is not giving proper feedback on successful 107 waivers," said Gen. James Poss (ret.), CEO of ISR Ideas, a UAS consulting firm. "This, along with the clash of cultures, and the slow release of applicable research, has resulted in the slow pace of waiver approvals." According to an FAA spokesperson, the FAA is committed to improving applicants' aware- ness of the expectations concerning waiver applications. Waiver Basics Part 107 certificates of waiver are only avail- able for certain operations, with the most FAA WAIVER SNAPSHOT NIGHT FLIGHT WAIVERS APPROVED MOST OFTEN BNSF fixed wing systems (above) about to deploy to fly sections of track. BNSF has a waiver to fly beyond visual line of sight. Photo courtesy of BNSF.

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