Linky Here ~~~~>Commercial Drone Operations: Wait for Part 107 or Get a 333? - sUAS News<~~~~ Commercial Drone Operations: Wait for Part 107 or Get a 333? by Press • 29 April 2016 Marcos Osorno Chief Technology Officer at Skyward Launching a commercial operation in a new (and highly regulated) market requires calculated choices about business goals, the regulatory environment, the competitive landscape, and timing. For the past four years, the FAA has required commercial drone operators in the United States to have a 333 Exemption. This has been a major regulatory hurdle for early adopters and business innovators. But, the FAA is expected to finalize formal rules for commercial UAVs in late spring. Titled Part 107, the new rules are expected to lower the barrier to entry for new commercial drone programs. So, if you are on the verge of launching a commercial drone operation today, you have a few choices: Operate without permission from the FAA Apply for a 333 Exemption from the FAA Wait for the FAA to finalize formal rules (Part 107) The FAA Says Part 107 Will Be Finalized by Late Spring Recently, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta announced that formal rules allowing commercial drone operations would be finalized in late spring. Part 107 will still require businesses to comply with operational requirements. The most recent Section 333 Exemptions have taken about six months to be approved. So it’s possible that, if you apply for an Exemption now, you may find that the FAA publishes Part 107 before your Exemption is approved. For many businesspeople, that would feel like a waste of time and money. While the FAA has historically failed to meet Congressional deadlines, Administrator Huerta’s announcement and the rule under review by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the White House is a positive indication that the FAA may in fact deliver a rule this spring. How the Rules Under Part 107 Will Differ from 333 Exemptions The FAA recently began allowing commercial operators to register small drones online, which is a huge improvement, especially for small business owners. The last major hurdle facing commercial drone operators today is the legal requirement for an operator’s certificate. Traditionally, the FAA has relied on instructors to provide flight training and hands-on examinations and on testing centers for knowledge tests. As of December 2015, the FAA listed 696 test centers across the United States, with many cities having multiple test centers. The draft of Part 107 includes provisions for flight instructors and pilot examiners to be part of the verification process. So, while there may be some delay in tailoring the existing testing system to accommodate drones, the infrastructure is already in place. According to the draft of Part 107, the new rules will be generally more permissive, or in some cases the same, as existing rules. Topic General 333 and Blanket COA Based on April 2016 Blanket COA and Exemption No. 15857 retrieved from FAA.gov on April 27, 2016. Draft Rule Training At least a sport-pilot’s license and current flight review Pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test and recurrent test every 24 months Medical certificate FAA medical certificate Self-reported Crew size At least 2: Pilot + visual observers 1 person: Operator Flight restrictions Must not operate in: Prohibited Areas Special Flight Rule Areas DC Flight Restricted Zone Temporary/Permanent Flight Restricted Areas Special permission for airports in controlled airspace and certain airports in uncontrolled airspace. See example below Must not operate in: Class A airspace (18,000 feet and above) Prohibited or restricted areas Temporary/Permanent Flight Restricted Areas Special permission needed when in controlled airspace (Class B, C, D and airport Class E) See example below Time of day Daylight hours only Only between official sunrise and sunset Weight limit 55 pounds 55 pounds Speed limit 100 miles per hour 100 miles per hour Weather 3 mile visibility, 500 feet below clouds, 2000 feet horizontally away from clouds 3 mile visibility, 500 feet below clouds, 2000 feet horizontally away from clouds Height limit 400 feet 500 feet Visual line of sight Required Required Operation above people Not allowed if not participating or under covered structure providing protection Not allowed if not participating or under covered structure providing protection Buffer At least 500 feet from other property No buffer Aircraft registration Required Required Aircraft allowed Specified by FAA Any aircraft under 55 pounds NOTAM filing Yes No Incident reporting Yes Yes Airspace under a Section 333 Exemption Today, commercial drone operators are prohibited from operating in restricted airspace (in red). They must get special permission to operate within a certain distance from airports both in controlled and uncontrolled airspace (in yellow). Airspace under Part 107 Under part 107, commercial drone operators will still be prohibited from operating in restricted airspace (in red) and will need special permission to operate in Class B, C, D and airport Class E airspace.