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The FAA Grants UAS Exemptions

More UAS exemptions are granted by the FAA.

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The FAA granted five regulatory exemptions for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operations to four companies.

The four companies that received exemptions will perform aerial surveying, construction site monitoring and oil rig flare stack inspections.

“Unmanned aircraft offer a tremendous opportunity to spur innovation and economic activity by enabling many businesses to develop better products and services for their customers and the American public, We want to foster commercial uses of this exciting technology while taking a responsible approach to the safety of America’s airspace.” - Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx

The companies that received the exemptions:

Secretary Foxx found that the UAS in the proposed operations do not need an FAA-issued certificate of airworthiness because they do not pose a threat to national airspace users or national security. The firms also requested the FAA to grant exemptions from regulations that address general flight rules, pilot certificate requirements, manuals, maintenance and equipment mandates. The firms said they will operate UAS weighing less than 55 pounds and keep the UAS within line of sight at all times. The FAA considered the operating environments and required certain conditions and limitations to assure the safe operation of these UAS in the National Airspace System. The agency also will issue Certificates of Waiver or Authorization (COAs) that mandate flight rules and timely reports of any accident or incidents.

“The FAA’s first priority is the safety of our nation’s aviation system. Today’s exemptions are a step toward integrating UAS operations safely.” - FAA Administrator Michael Huerta

Read more about this on the FAA's website.

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Old Dec 11, 2014, 12:14 PM
TEAM CIRRUS FPV
RainyDayRC's Avatar
United States, WA, Seattle
Joined Oct 2013
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At least it's a good start...
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Old Dec 11, 2014, 12:20 PM
Sink Stinks
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Orange County, CA
Joined Aug 2004
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So, 11 down, and how many THOUSANDS to go?? They need to pick up the pace and make accommodations for smaller companies, especially since it is clear that the actual sUAS Rule will not be final until perhaps 2017!!!
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Old Dec 11, 2014, 01:37 PM
Registered User
United States, CA, Santa Cruz
Joined Dec 2011
337 Posts
Unfortunately the Exemption is so limiting that most of the work we do now will not be able to be done. We must not be short sighted when it comes to overreaching regulations.
m
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Old Dec 11, 2014, 02:44 PM
La Mesa Air
La Mesa, CA
Joined Mar 2010
461 Posts
The FAA claims they have 162 applications so far, and now they are up to 11 authorizations. It's a down payment, but they have a lot to go.
However making it worse is the fact that smaller UAV entrepreneurs are discouraged from going the 'legal' route and asking for a COA or section 333 exemption because of the costs and lack of easy access to the 6 test sites.
If they made it 'easy' I suspect there would be thousands of applications.
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Old Dec 11, 2014, 07:01 PM
AMA#1032179
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United States, MN, Fairmont
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Wait..so oil rig quads dont pose a threat, but the protoX I am flying in my living room does???
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Old Dec 11, 2014, 09:40 PM
Sink Stinks
Silent-AV8R's Avatar
Orange County, CA
Joined Aug 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somethin' Extra View Post
Wait..so oil rig quads dont pose a threat, but the protoX I am flying in my living room does???
No, it does not and nobody has said it does. It is a bit absurd for all of us to sit here wide-eyed trying to pretend that the only thing anyone flies are small foam planes and/or micro-quads and all that flying is done below kneecap level. Therefore the FAA is being absurd.
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Old Dec 11, 2014, 10:39 PM
AMA#1032179
Somethin' Extra's Avatar
United States, MN, Fairmont
Joined May 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent-AV8R View Post
No, it does not and nobody has said it does. It is a bit absurd for all of us to sit here wide-eyed trying to pretend that the only thing anyone flies are small foam planes and/or micro-quads and all that flying is done below kneecap level. Therefore the FAA is being absurd.
I know, I was questioning the FAAs logic. I know a ProtoX poses a very small threat to anyone, especially indoors
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Old Dec 11, 2014, 11:29 PM
TEAM CIRRUS FPV
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United States, WA, Seattle
Joined Oct 2013
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By their definition of "Aircraft," a Boeing 747 has the same amount of potential damage as an 18 gram Nano QX. This is the kind of ridiculous judgement that the FAA is formulating and it simply doesn't make sense. The US is supposed to be the leading edge of innovation but it's pretty hard to do so if every technological advancement is hindered due to the unnecessarily heavy regulation.
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Old Dec 12, 2014, 08:58 PM
Splitting airs
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United States, NY, Brooklyn
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Run! They are harmless unless you eat them!
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Old Dec 13, 2014, 10:29 AM
Wisconsin
United States, WI, Hayward
Joined Jan 2012
734 Posts
Just another example of corporate welfare.
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Old Dec 13, 2014, 06:20 PM
Knife-Edge
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Joined Mar 2013
214 Posts
Ok well like others have said at least its a start. I think the FAA might be starting to realize that if they freeze the use of this technology they hurt the US moving forward. There's a lot of innovation just coming from the hobby aspect that is incredible and its awful to see it being torn at by the FAA.
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Old Dec 13, 2014, 08:46 PM
SoCal fair weather flyer
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United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Jan 2012
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This is what stands out to me, "Secretary Foxx found that the UAS in the proposed operations do not need an FAA-issued certificate of airworthiness because they do not pose a threat to national airspace users or national security. "

Love the words, "do not pose a threat", that is VERY good, some common sense for once. If they believe this big multi-rotor hovering in the sky do not pose a threat then they can't possibly feel a model airplane flying at an AMA field can pose a threat.
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Old Dec 14, 2014, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloosee View Post
This is what stands out to me, "Secretary Foxx found that the UAS in the proposed operations do not need an FAA-issued certificate of airworthiness because they do not pose a threat to national airspace users or national security. "

Love the words, "do not pose a threat", that is VERY good, some common sense for once. If they believe this big multi-rotor hovering in the sky do not pose a threat then they can't possibly feel a model airplane flying at an AMA field can pose a threat.
Bloose you couldnt be more spot on. They finally seem to be waking up and smelling the roses.
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Old Dec 20, 2014, 12:09 PM
Engineer for Christ
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Amherst, VA
Joined Jun 2006
10,603 Posts
The FAA has been fed bad information for quite a while now. The question is: who is feeding them the garbage info? With more and more companies seeking COA (or exemptions) the FAA will have more and more evidence of the truth about sUAS operation.

What I find funny is that government agencies do not need to abide by congressional mandates the way everyone else does. Congress mandated integration by September 2015. Now they've pushed it to 2017.

-Alex
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