Drone FTX Usage
Our carrier has begun the process of using Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or better known as Drones, to monitor our members while they work. They where previously allowed to operate under a special section 333 waiver. That waiver expired on April 30, 2017 and the renewal extension was declined on August 25, 2017. They are now allowed to fly under the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Small UAS Rule (Title 14 CFR Part 107). This is a brief summary of the FAA regulations that apply to them now.
Must register drones.
Get a Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA.
Fly within the Visual Line of Sight (VLOS).
Don't fly near other aircraft.
Don't fly over people. (See FAA Advisory Circular 107-2 below)
Don't fly in controlled airspace or near airports without FAA persmission.
Fly only during daylight or civil twilight. (Granted part 107 waiver exemption)
Fly below 400 feet.
FAA Advisory Circular 107-2
This document from the FAA provides some guidance for conducting drone operations in United States National Airspace System.
Please feel free to read the whole document found in the resource section below. We have highlighted some of the most relevant requirements below
Section 5.11 -- Prohibited Operation Over Persons. Part 107 prohibits a person from flying a small UA directly over a person who is not under a safe cover, such as a protective structure or a stationary vehicle. However, a small UA may be flown over a person who is directly participating in the operation of the sUAS, such as the remote PIC, other person manipulating the controls, a VO, or crewmembers necessary for the safety of the sUAS operation, as assigned and briefed by the remote PIC. There are several ways that the sUAS remote PIC can comply with these requirements, such as:
Selecting an operational area (site) that is clearly unpopulated/uninhabited. If selecting a site that is populated/inhabited, have a plan of action which ensures persons remain clear of the operating area, remain indoors, or remain under safe cover until such time that the small UA flight has ended. Safe cover is a structure or stationary vehicle that would protect a person from harm if the small UA were to crash into that structure or vehicle;
Establishing an operational area in which the remote PIC has taken reasonable precautions to keep free of persons not directly participating in the operation of the sUAS;
Choosing an operating area that is sparsely populated, or, ideally, clear of persons if operating a small UA from a moving vehicle;
Having a plan of action that ensures the small UA remains clear of persons who may enter the operating area.
Adopt an appropriate operating distance from persons not directly participating in the operation of the sUAS.
5.10 Operating Limitations for Small UA. The small UA must be operated in accordance with the following limitations:
Cannot be flown faster than a groundspeed of 87 knots (100 miles per hour);
Cannot be flown higher than 400 feet above ground level (AGL), unless flown within a 400-foot radius of a structure and does not fly higher than 400 feet above the structure’s immediate uppermost limit;
Minimum visibility, as observed from the location of the CS, may not be less than 3 statute miles (sm); and
Minimum distance from clouds being no less than 500 feet below a cloud and no less than 2000 feet horizontally from the cloud.
Note: These operating limitations are intended, among other things, to support the remote pilot’s ability to identify hazardous conditions relating to encroaching aircraft or persons on the ground, and to take the appropriate actions to maintain safety.
Further Reading Material/Resources
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Website -- Drone section
Title 14 CFR Part 107 - SMALL UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS -- PDF file (Updated 01/01/2017)
Title 14 CFR Part 107 - SMALL UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS -- Website version (Updated 04/30/2018)
FAA Advisory Circular 107-2
FAA Waiver Section 333 #11353
FAA Waiver Section 333 #11353 Extension Denial
FAA Waiver Part 107# 107W-2016-01753A
FAA Waiver Part 107 Lookup
FAA UAS Airspace Restrictions
FAA Airspace Maps
FAA B4UFLY Mobile App