[Avionics Magazine 10-28-2016] The FAA released an update on Part 107 Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) applications, which allow UAS operators to use unmanned aircraft for commercial operations. According to the agency update, since establishing the Part 107 effective date of the new rule on August 29, 2016, the FAA has approved 81 authorizations for flights in Class D and E airspace. The FAA has also issued 36 waivers of Part 107 provisions to drone operators that applied after the rule's effective date.
DJI Phantom UAS. Photo: DJI.
However, the agency has found that many applications have incorrect or incomplete information. Many applicants request too many waivers or request waivers for flights in types of airspace for which the FAA is not yet granting approvals. As a result, the agency has had to reject 71 waiver requests and 854 airspace applications.
One of the most common requests that applicants are failing to fulfill application requirements for is the request to fly at night. Here is what the agency listed in its latest update on Part 107 applications that applicants need to be sure to meet:
1. Applicant must provide a method for the remote pilot to maintain visual line of sight during darkness.
2. Applicant must provide a method for the remote pilot to see and avoid other aircraft, people on the ground, and ground-based structures and obstacles during darkness.
3. Applicant must provide a method by which the remote pilot will be able to continuously know and determine the position, altitude, attitude, and movement of their small unmanned aircraft.
4. Applicant must assure all required persons participating in the small unmanned aircraft operation have knowledge to recognize and overcome visual illusions caused by darkness, and understand physiological conditions which may degrade night vision.
5. Applicant must provide a method to increase conspicuity of the small unmanned aircraft to be seen at a distance of 3 statute miles unless a system is in place that can avoid all non-participating aircraft.
As previously announced, the FAA requires operators who want to fly in Class G (uncontrolled) airspace don’t need FAA authorization. The agency is currently processing requests to operate in Class D and Class E airport surfaces. FAA will also begin to consider requests for Class C drone flights after October 31 and for Class B airspace after Dec. 5, 2016. Applications to fly in those areas before the indicated dates will not be approved, the agency says.