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Managing and Engaging Stakeholders on UAS in the Vicinity of Airports Â 3 2 Understanding the Requirements to Manage UAS Operations In order to manage UAS in the vicinity of airports, operators and managers must have a general understanding of the requirements and elements of UAS operations. This section will provide a basic overview of the elements of UAS operations in order to help airport managers gain an understanding of the requirements to manage these operations near airports. It includes development of concept of operations (Section 2.1); regulations for authorization, approval, and notification (Section 2.2); privacy and data challenges (Section 2.3); and hyperlocal considerations (Section 2.4). Development of Concept of Operations The concept of operations (CONOPS) for UAS is a description of the nature of UAS operations and the resulting impacts on relevant stakeholders and the environment. CONOPS development is the first step in effectively employing UAS in the airport environment and is key to the successful integration of UAS in the NAS. The goal of developing a CONOPS is to produce a document that defines the UAS âsystem architectureâ (Table 1) to be operated in the airport environments, the airworthiness requirements of the system, the operational requirements of such systems, the operational plan (e.g., intended missions and operational procedures), and the personnel certification/training requirements to support the operational plan within the target environment. The purpose of this section is to ensure that airport operators and managers understand the elements of UAS operations and are able to advise UAS operators who seek guidance on developing a CONOPS in their vicinity. In this section, CONOPS factors are discussed at a high-level with airport-specific considerations. The section concludes with a list of resources to aid airport management in the development or analysis of UAS CONOPS for airports. 2.1.1 System Architecture The description of the system architecture for a CONOPS should define not only the UAS system, but also the environment it is intended to operate within. These are the factors that need to be considered by both the airport and UAS operator when planning a UAS mission. Table 1 describes each element of the system architecture that should be considered. Table 1: Elements of the system architecture for a UAS CONOPS Element Description Goals and Objectives At a minimum, the objective of a CONOPS includes the seamless integration of the UAS into the already existing CONOPS architecture at airports. To achieve this objective, emphasis should be placed on the (1) primary use for the UAS, (2) the method of operation, and (3) the required crew and infrastructure necessary to operate the UAS. Further requirements are elaborated in Section 2.2. ï· Primary use for the UAS: The operation of UAS at airports may require prior approval and authorization by the FAA in the form of a certificate of authorization (COA) issued to a public aircraft operator or a COA/Exemption issued to the operator of a civil UAS not operating under Part 107. For sUAS operated under Part 107, if the airspace in which the sUAS is to be operated is Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace or within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport, the operator will be
Managing and Engaging Stakeholders on UAS in the Vicinity of Airports Â 4 Element Description required to have ATC approval in the form of an airspace authorization or an airspace waiver issued by the FAA. Airports should review the contents of the COA, Exemption and/or airspace authorization/waiver which detail among other things, the use of the system, and the method of operation. ï· Method of operation: The COA or other applicable FAA approval may also contain the method and manner in which the operator intends to use the system, including information on the manufacturerâs guidelines and system certification from the FAA. Airports can expect UAS to operate primarily in two forms. Those requiring prepared take-off surfaces, and those not requiring such surfaces. It is important that the same level of care and concern given to manned aircraft is allotted to UAS as the potential for mishaps and hazardous situations is very high. ï· Required crew and infrastructure: UAS operations require a different kind of crew setup, placement, and infrastructure to support operations (Valavanis, Vachtsevanos, 2015). At a minimum, the crew required for each UAS type, and the communications methods and infrastructure (including the datalink frequencies, voice communication techniques and frequencies, placement of crew and hardware to support the system operation and regulatory requirements and framework within which the UAS would be operated), should be considered and identified. Key Components of the System The CONOPS should define what components would be integrated into the system as well as those systems not needing integration, but may still impact the airport environment nonetheless. Some key components of UAS to be included are (Maddalon, Hayhurst, Koppen, Upcurch, Morris, & Verstynen, 2013): ï· Remote pilot in command (PIC)/operator of the system ï· Unmanned aircraft/platform ï· Ground control station ï· Ground data terminal ï· Airborne data terminal ï· Electromagnetic frequencies and communication facilities ï· Power source consideration ï· Hangar spaces/shelter for the system ï· Potential risk factors including line-of-sight obstructions System Operation The operation of the system is a step-by-step process that gives airport management a complete picture of the UAS operation. These elements should be documented by the airport operations department/manager in coordination with the FAA Airport District Office (ADO) and air traffic control (ATC). In outlining the system operation, certain key areas need to be addressed including: ï· Airworthiness requirements
Managing and Engaging Stakeholders on UAS in the Vicinity of Airports Â 5 Element Description ï· Airspace segregation ï· Flight routes and procedures ï· Intra-Crew and ATC briefing and communications ï· Datalink Frequency, bandwidth, and interference ï· Obstacle and line of sight (LOS) considerations ï· Contingency/emergency plans ï· Safety management systems ï· Regulatory requirements Facility Management Integrating UAS into the airport environment poses a challenge of modifying existing infrastructure to meet system requirements. Priority consideration should be given to the communications/navigational facilities. These include: ï· Command and control datalink ï· Voice communication equipment ï· Navigational Aid (NAVAID) utilization by UAS Limitations of UAS Operations There may be an initial desire to treat UAS as traditional manned aircraft, but the inability of UAS to meet many requirements and restrictions placed on manned aircraft is of particular concern to ATC and other airspace users. Integration of UAS and manned aircraft operations requires evaluation and consideration of certain procedures. Some procedures needing assessment include: ï· Take-off and landing procedures ï· Arrival and departure procedures ï· See/sense/detect-and-avoid procedures ï· Lost communication procedures ï· Weather minimums (Instrument Flight RulesâIFR and Visual Flight Rulesâ VFR requirements) ï· Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) 2.1.2 Operational Plan The dynamic nature of airport operations requires a plan that is designed to suit the environment and is consistent with regulatory and safety requirements for operations. The operational plan is a description of how UAS operations will be conducted within the airport environment from the airport manager, operations department/manager, and ATC perspective.
Managing and Engaging Stakeholders on UAS in the Vicinity of Airports Â 6 Before each planned UAS flight, the airport operations manager, operations department/manager, and ATC must consider the operational environment elements factored into the operational plan. To ensure that most pertinent factors are considered, the following considerations are included: a. Operational environment b. Stakeholder coordination c. Flight planning and execution d. Regulatory guidance. Except flight planning,execution, and operational environment, other parts of the planned UAS flight could be standardized, which may need to be revised periodically. The flight planning and execution section would be unique for each mission flown and the overriding conditions peculiar to that flight. A checklist approach that identifies sections that must be addressed by all stakeholders prior to any flight could prove helpful and efficient to ensuring all relevant sections of the operational plan are addressed completely. 2.1.3 Personnel Certification Requirements Airport personnel accustomed to working with manned aircraft would find that major differences exist between manned and unmanned aircraft. Currently, no certification requirements exist for the airport personnel working with UAS in airports. However, the Part 107 sUAS rule (see Section 18.104.22.168) identifies sUAS operating rules (Section B) and requirements for remote pilot certification (Section C). Part 107 provides an initial set of guidelines and frameworks from which airport operators can provide guidance to their personnel regarding the nature of UAS operations; what is and is not permissible, and other operational considerations. Further airport training and guidance for airport operations personnel in charge of safety and security could provide additional value to its employees and ensure a culture of UAS safety. Training of safety policy, procedures, and risk mitigations must be shared with the relevant employees. In general, training should seek to introduce UAS types, operations, operational limitations, procedures (airport and UAS), and authorization and approval processes. While the FAA has developed minimum requirements for sUAS remote pilot certification, there is no consensus as to a standard training program for persons operating sUAS. As part of the certification requirement toward certifying remote pilots, the FAA has an online course found at their www.faasafety.gov website, as well as the aeronautical knowledge test which applicants must undergo and pass to obtain a remote pilot certificate with a sUAS rating. This course and knowledge test provide prospective operators with a wide range of UAS knowledge including an introduction to sUAS, registration, operations and limitations, and best practices. The course is not meant to be all- inclusive, but provides the operators with a very basic knowledge necessary to safely operate sUAS in the NAS. Pilots may benefit from additional training and knowledge relating to specific types of operations and operating environments. To this end, airport operators could develop their training programs to meet their individual needs while referencing the FAAâs online training materials. They could ensure their training program addresses the topics contained in the FAAâs training course and knowledge test tailored to incorporate other areas of importance specific to the environment of their airport, including its vicinity and its unique airport operations. This training could enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of sUAS operations around their airports, while promoting a high culture and standard of
Managing and Engaging Stakeholders on UAS in the Vicinity of Airports Â 7 aviation safety. Airport operators should also consider Part 107 certification for personnel directly responsible for interacting with UAS operators to ensure full knowledge of the dynamically changing regulatory environment. 2.1.4 Key Resources The development of the appropriate CONOPS is defined in more detail in the following resources: ï· Handbook of Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles (Valavanis, 2015), a multi-volume handbook that addresses a number of topics including sections on UAS airspace integration planning and UAS mission planning. ï· âPerspectives on Unmanned Aircraft Classification for Civil Airworthiness Standardsâ (Maddalon et al., 2013), a technical report from the NASA UAS in the NAS, which discusses UAS classification and the relationship of those classifications to current manned aircraft categories. ï· âSmall Unmanned Aircraft Systems Guide: Exploring designs, operations, regulations, and economics of small unmanned aircraft systemsâ (Terwilliger, Ison, Robbins, and Vincenzi, 2017; Chapter 5), chapter 5 of guidebook addresses the âBusiness of Unmanned Aviation: From Agencies to Startupsâ providing a summary of different UAS stakeholders, their considerations for starting a UAS operational program, and areas of growth for UAS applications in business. Authorization, Approval, and Notification While the FAA has primary responsibility for regulating UAS operations, including the issuance of relevant authorizations and approvals, it is also important for the airports to know how these processes work. This section provides an overview of these regulations so that airport managers and operators can better advise UAS operators in their vicinity. 2.2.1 Model Aircraft One type of UAS operation that are permissible under certain conditions are âmodel aircraftâ. At the time of this writing, the FAA is currently developing and adopting new rules for model aircraft. The FAA is asking model aircraft users to follow the previously legislated rules specified in Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA, 2012). In October of 2018, the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2018, repeals Section 336 from the previous authorization and defines in Section 349 new legislation âException for Limited Recreational Operations of Unmanned Aircraftâ (FRMA, 2018). The Figure 1: Definition of recreational use of UAS; presented information adapted from 14 CFR Â§101 (2017); Section 336 (FMRA, 2012); and FAA (2016a; 2016b)
Managing and Engaging Stakeholders on UAS in the Vicinity of Airports Â 8 remainder of this section will discuss Section 336 as the current rules to be followed as per the FAA. The section concludes with a summary of noteworthy provisions in Section 349 of the 2018 law. In order to qualify as a âmodel aircraftââunder the Special Rule for Model Aircraft in Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA) and 14 CFR Part 101, Subpart E, Special Rule for Model Aircraftâthe aircraft must be flown strictly for hobby, recreational or educational purposes, flown in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization, must weigh no more than 55 pounds, and must be operated in a manner that does not interfere with and gives way to any manned aircraft. The definition of recreational use is provided in Figure 1. Model aircraft operations must not endanger the airspace. Model aircraft operators are required to provide the airport operator and the ATC tower (if there is one) with prior notice of the operation when operated within 5 miles of an airport. As a summary, Figure 2 depicts examples of Part 101 permissible (i.e., compliant) and non-compliant UAS operations. According to the FAA (2017a), an airport operator cannot deny (i.e., prohibit or prevent) such operations, but an objection can be noted and unsafe or suspected unauthorized use can be reported (FAA 2017a); see Section 2.2.3 Reporting Suspected Unauthorized Use. The following represent resources that may assist airport operators in external cooperation and coordination with recreational and educational users in their community: Figure 2: 14 CFR Â§101 Compliant and non-compliant UAS operations; note abbreviations of educational use (Ed.) and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
Managing and Engaging Stakeholders on UAS in the Vicinity of Airports Â 9 ï· FAA Memorandum, Educational Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): https://www.faa.gov/uas/resources/uas_regulations_policy/media/interpretation- educational-use-of-uas.pdf ï· FAA, FAQ, Flying for Fun Under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft: https://www.faa.gov/uas/faqs/#ffr ï· FAA, Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft: https://www.faa.gov/uas/media/model_aircraft_spec_rule.pdf ï· FAA, Advisory Circular 91-57a (2016), Model Aircraft Operating Standards: https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_91-57A_Ch_1.pdf Under the 2018 Federal Aviation Modernization and Reform Act, with the repeal of current model aircraft rules and instructions to the FAA to enact new rules under the legislationâs directives, the new rules shall contain once implemented provisions for UAS registration, requirements for beyond line-of-sight operations for recreational model users, and automated authorization in controlled airspace in âaccordance with the mutually agreed upon operating procedures established with the airport operator and airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport.â These provisions take effect once the FAA implements the new rules. 2.2.2 Other FAA UAS Operational Approval Mechanisms If a UAS operation does not meet the âmodel aircraftâ requirements outline in Section 2.2.1, the process for permissible UAS operations in the NAS varies depending on whether the UAS is operated under Part 91 or Part 107 (sUAS only), and whether the operation is considered a public aircraft operation or civil aircraft operation. These approval mechanisms for both public and civil operators are depicted in Figure 3 and described in the following subsections.
Managing and Engaging Stakeholders on UAS in the Vicinity of Airports Â 10 Figure 3: Federal UAS operational approval mechanisms Part 107 sUAS Part 107 provides clarity and a streamlined operational pathway for operators seeking to use UAS commercially. In other words, Part 107 provides one pathway for legal UAS operations that are not covered by the hobbyist/recreational requirement in Part 101 (Section 2.2.1). The basic operating requirements for Part 107 operations are shown in Figure 4. Additionally, to provide flexibility and accommodate new and innovative UAS technology, Part 107 contains a waiver process for authorizing expanded operations beyond the scope of what is currently permitted under the rule via a Certificate of Waiver (CoW) when the operation can be conducted safely. Waivable sections of Part 107 include: â¢ Operation from a moving vehicle or aircraft (Â§ 107.25) â¢ Daylight operation (Â§ 107.29) â¢ Visual line of sight aircraft operation (Â§ 107.31) â¢ Visual observer (Â§ 107.33) â¢ Operation of multiple small unmanned aircraft systems (Â§ 107.35) â¢ Yielding the right of way (Â§ 107.37(a)) â¢ Operation over people (Â§ 107.39) â¢ Operation in certain airspace (Â§ 107.41) â¢ Operating limitations for small unmanned aircraft (Â§ 107.51)
Managing and Engaging Stakeholders on UAS in the Vicinity of Airports Â 11 ï· Part 107 Waiver Information o UAS remote pilots can apply for deviations from Part 107, as a COW online (expect a 90-day review and approval cycle, based on complexity of requested waiver): https://www.faa.gov/uas/request_waiver/ o FAA, Waiver Application Instructions (2017): https://www.faa.gov/uas/request_waiver/media/waiver_application_instructions.p df o FAA, Waiver Safety Explanation Guidelines for Part 107 Waiver Applications (2017): https://www.faa.gov/uas/request_waiver/waiver_safety_explanation_guidelines/ As of August 22, 2018, the FAA has granted a total of 1,988 Part 107 waivers, including: ï· 1,818 Night waivers ï· 106 Airspace waivers2 ï· 37 Operation of multiple small UAS waivers ï· 28 Operating limitations waivers ï· 22 Visual line of sight waivers ï· 13 Operations over people waivers ï· 13 Visual observer waivers ï· 4 Moving vehicle/aircraft waivers Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 2 The FAA no longer publishes airspace waivers in the waiver database, so the actual number of airspace waivers granted will be higher.
Managing and Engaging Stakeholders on UAS in the Vicinity of Airports Â 12 Figure 4: 14 CFR-Part 107 requirements and waiver procedures; presented information adapted from 14 CFR Â§ 107, 2017; FAA, 2016b The following resources may assist airport operators to evaluate proposed operations within their vicinity, specifically related to Part 107: ï· Part 107 Overviews o FAA, Advisory Circular 107-2: Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS): https://www.faa.gov/uas/media/AC_107-2_AFS-1_Signed.pdf o FAA sUAS Part 107: The Small UAS Rule: https://www.faa.gov/uas/media/faa- uas-part107-flyer.pdf o FAA, Fact Sheet-Small Unmanned Aircraft Regulations (Part 107): https://www.faa.gov/news/fact_sheets/news_story.cfm?newsId=20516 o FAA, Summary of Small Unmanned Aircraft Rule (Part 107): https://www.faa.gov/uas/media/Part_107_Summary.pdf
Managing and Engaging Stakeholders on UAS in the Vicinity of Airports Â 13 Certifications of Waiver or Authorizations (COAs) Prior to the implementation of Part 107, businesses seeking to operate UAS (as civil aircraft) needed to apply for and receive a âSection 333 Exemptionâ and COA from the FAA. Public aircraft operators did not need to obtain a Section 333 Exemption, however they needed to obtain a public- COA from the FAA. These approval mechanisms are still applicable for use-cases falling outside of Part 107, including, for example, the operation of UAS weighing 55 lbs. or greater. Additionally, public aircraft operators can voluntarily elect to operate UAS as civil aircraft under Part 107, or, for operations that outside the bounds of Part 107, as civil aircraft under a Section 333 Exemption and accompanying COA. While airport operators are not involved with the process of issuing COAs, it is important for airport managers and operations departments/managers to understand the requirements and processes that UAS operators are required to follow to operate a UAS. Furthermore, airports operating UAS would also use similar COA processes. Public COA Qualifying federal, state, and local agencies may choose to operate UAS as a public aircraft operation. A public operation involves a âpublic aircraftâ UAS (meaning that it is publicly owned or operated on behalf of a public agency or government), carrying out a âgovernmental functionâ under the authority of a COA issued to the government entity or as specified in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), between the using agency and FAA Headquarters. UAS operated as Public Aircraft are required to comply with airspace restrictions and airport coordination requirements contained in the applicable COA or MOA. The public-COA process is summarized in Figure 5 and is specific to operators of public UAS by government agencies, organizations, or their vendors. These COAs still exist today for flights that do not meet requirements of Part 107 or their specific waiver-able conditions. Generally, the COA procedure allows operation of a registered and marked aircraft by a certified pilot within a specific geographic area, but also requires application and approval from the FAA Air Traffic Organization (ATO). The process is handled through an online system (https://ioeaaa.faa.gov/oeaaa/) and approvals are provided to the applicant for two years (unless otherwise specified in the COA), and include a nationwide âblanketâ COA with similar requirements to the Part 107 rules (e.g., operation under 400 feet AGL). Special Governmental Interest (SGI) COA Public and, in select cases, civil UAS operations may need to be conducted to support activities which answer significant and urgent governmental interests, including national defense, homeland security, law enforcement, and emergency operations objectives. In the event that these operations Figure 5: Certificates of authorization process of for UAS operations before the Part 107 Rule; presented information adapted from FAA (2014a; 2017)
Managing and Engaging Stakeholders on UAS in the Vicinity of Airports Â 14 cannot be supported by the FAAâs regular COA processes or Part 107 waiver process due to their exigent circumstances, they may be conducted under the authority of a COA addendum or Part 107 authorizations/waivers granted through the SGI process managed by System Operations Security. The FAA may apply this process if the following conditions are met: ï· The proponent must be operating under the authority of an active COA (including Blanket COAs) or in compliance with Part 107, as determined by System Operations Security. ï· The UAS operations to be authorized must be conducted within a timeframe incompatible with the processing time required for regular COA or Part 107 processes, as determined by System Operations Security. ï· The requested operations must be flown by a governmental entity or sponsored/supported by a governmental entity (i.e., the operation is to be flown at the request of or is specifically supported by a governmental entity) as determined by System Operations Security. ï· The operations must directly support an active (e.g., not demonstration) homeland security, law enforcement, or emergency operations effort, or some other response, relief, or recovery activity benefiting a critical public good â for example, restoration of an electrical grid or some other critical infrastructure, or media coverage. The fulfillment of this requirement is determined by System Operations Security in consultation, as needed, with the FAAâs interagency partners. Qualifying proponents of public UAS operations should contact the System Operations Support Center (SOSC), a component of System Operations Security, at (202) 267-8276 for assistance. A backup request should be sent to the SOSC via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional details are located in Chapter 7 of FAA Order JO 7200.23A, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (August 1, 2017). Section 333 Exemption For commercial (civil) UAS not operated under Part 107, the authority to operate derives from a special airworthiness certificate, restricted category aircraft (14 C.F.R. Â§ 21.25), or an Exemption (with COAs) issued under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization Act of 2012 (FMRA). FMRA Section 333 directed the Secretary of Transportation to determine whether UAS operations posing the least amount of public risk and no threat to national security could safely be operated in the NAS and, if so, to establish requirements for the safe operation of these systems in the NAS.
Managing and Engaging Stakeholders on UAS in the Vicinity of Airports Â 15 This provision was created prior to Part 107, but, as described in Figure 6, it is still relevant for a small percentage of UAS operations that cannot be conducted under Part 107. When a Section 333 Exemption is granted, the petitioner is issued a Blanket COA. Blanket COAs typically permit nationwide flights in Class G airspace at or below 400 feet above ground level. If the intended operation cannot be conducted under the provisions of the Blanket COA, the proponent must apply for a Standard COA for specific airspace. Civil UAS operated under Part 91 must comply with the airspace restrictions and airport coordination requirements contained in the Section 333 Exemption and applicable COA. UAS operations conducted under a blanket COA must be preceded by a NOTAM (72 to 24 hours before) featuring the pilotâs name and address, specified operational area (location and altitude), time and type of operation, and registration number of UAS (FAA 2016c). NOTAMs can be filed by contacting one of the following: a) Local base operations or NOTAM issuing authority b) NOTAM Flight Service Station at 1-877-4-US-NTMS (1-877-487- 6867) Additionally, sample NOTAMs filed for Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport and Southern California Logistics Airport is provided in Figure 7 (Neubauer 2015): Figure 6: Description of the purpose of Section 333; presented information adapted from FAA (2008; 2014; 2017)
Managing and Engaging Stakeholders on UAS in the Vicinity of Airports Â 16 Figure 7: Sample NOTAM issued for Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport and Southern California Logistics Airport (Neubauer 2015) 2.2.3 Reporting Suspected Unauthorized Use If UAS operations are occurring within the vicinity of an airport that do not meet the requirements outlined in Sections 2.2.1 and 0, there are several options that can be used to report suspected unauthorized use. These methods should be used for any suspicious, illegal, or unsanctioned operations creating unsafe conditions within the NAS or in violation of State/local laws and ordinances. ï· FAA Hotline Reporting Form: https://hotline.faa.gov/ ï· Contact local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO): https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/field_offices/fsdo/ ï· Contact State/local law enforcement (if state laws governing use of UAS/aircraft or operational personnel, including trespass, privacy, and/or operation of a vehicle; e.g., Florida State Statute 860.13, Operation of aircraft while intoxicated or in a careless or reckless manner; 2017); reference Law Enforcement engagement with Suspected Unauthorized UAS Operations (FAA 2016c; https://www.faa.gov/uas/resources/law_enforcement/) in reporting.
Managing and Engaging Stakeholders on UAS in the Vicinity of Airports Â 17 2.2.4 Segregating UAS Traffic Airport operators can expect to receive requests and/or notifications from civil, public, and model aircraft operators to operate UAS in close proximity of a facility (i.e., within 5 statute miles). While airports generally do not have the authority to approve or deny UAS operations within close proximity, it is helpful to understand the rules for operating UAS near airports so that airports can best inform these stakeholders. If operating within class B, C, D, or E airspace, FAA policy requires that the UAS operator monitor the on-site ATCT frequency and call the ATCT, on a landline, upon initiation and completion of operations . The rules governing the operation of UAS within close proximity to airports differ for Part 107 and non-Part 107 operations. Part 107 Operations Within Vicinity of Airports Part 107 uses the segregation of air traffic as the initial means of ensuring safety of operations. The rule requires UAS operators to fly their aircraft no higher than 400 feet above ground level, unless flown within a 400-foot radius of a structure and no higher than 400 feet above the structureâs immediate uppermost limit, at speeds no greater than 100 miles per hour, within the line-of-sight, and only during daylight hours. Certain portions of Part 107 will impact airports. Part 107 allows sUAS to operate in Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace, or within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport if the operator has obtained prior authorization from ATC. Prior ATC authorization is not required for operations in Class G airspace. Under Part 107, ATC approval for UAS to operate in certain airspace must be in the form of either an airspace waiver or airspace authorization issued to the operator. Requests must be submitted through the FAAâs DroneZone Portal or LAANC (discussed below). If a Part 107 operator contacts an ATC facility directly for authorization, FAA Order JO 7200.23A, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, instructs ATC facilities not to issue the authorization, and instead direct the operator to the FAA UAS website, http://www.faa.gov/uas/. It is also important to note that, while Letters of Agreement (LOA) between an airport and a UAS operator may be used in conjunction with an airspace waiver/authorization, they cannot be used in lieu of airspace authorizations/waivers. Currently, airspace authorization requests are subject to long waiting periods; it can take the FAA up to one year to issue an authorization. To address these challenges, the FAA is collaborating with private industry to facilitate the sharing of airspace data in an effort to streamline the airspace authorization process. Under the FAAâs âUAS Data Exchangeâ umbrella, the agency will support multiple partnerships, the first of which is the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability or âLAANC.â LAANC is an industry-developed application with the goal of providing UAS operators near real-time processing of airspace notifications and automatic approval of requests that are below approved altitudes in controlled airspace. Airspace data is provided through the UAS facility maps created by ATC facilities which show the maximum altitude around airports where the FAA may authorize operations without further coordination with the individual ATC facility. Airspace authorization requests to operate at altitudes above the limits of the UAS facility map will need to be processed using the FAAâs current online portal process. The FAA launched a prototype evaluation of LAANC in October 2017 and it is currently deploying in waves regionally across the country. As of February 2019, LAANC is available at 480 airports. A list of facilities/airports participating in LAANC is available at Ch ap te rÂ 7 Â
Managing and Engaging Stakeholders on UAS in the Vicinity of Airports Â 18 https://www.faa.gov/uas/programs_partnerships/uas_data_exchange/airports_participating_in_laa nc/#all. Non-Part 107 Operations in Close Proximity to Airports Public aircraft operators and civil aircraft operators not operating under Part 107 will be required to comply with the airport notification/coordination requirements of the applicable COA. The rules governing the operation of model aircraft in the vicinity of airports also differ from those for operations occurring under Part 107 and/or public/civil operations occurring under a COA/Section 333 Exemption. Under FRMA Section 336 and 14 C.F.R. Part 101, Subpart E, Special Rule for Model Aircraft, model aircraft operators are only required to provide the airport operator and the ATC tower (if there is one) with prior notice of the operation when operated within 5 miles of an airport. 2.2.5 Airport Operator Review of UAS Operational Requests Civil and public UAS operating under a COA (and a Section 333 Exemption for civil UAS) may be required to obtain permission from an airport before operating within 5 statute miles of an airport. sUAS operated under Part 107 are not required to obtain permission from an airport operator before conducting operations in the vicinity of an airport. However, Part 107 prohibits sUAS from interfering with airport operations and an airspace authorization from ATC is required for operations in Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace or within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport. Model aircraft operators are required to provide notification to an airport (and ATC of there is a tower), before operating within 5 miles on an airport. While permission from an airport may not always be required, airport operators can expect to receive requests from those within their community to operate UAS in close proximity of a facility (i.e., within 5 statute miles). In such cases, a detailed analysis of the request may assist to uncover potential safety or liability risks associated with the request. Figure 8 represents a process to evaluate such requests and possible actions or decisions points, given the applicant provided information.
Managing and Engaging Stakeholders on UAS in the Vicinity of Airports Â 19 Figure 8: UAS operational approval evaluation flowchart The following represents an overview of the linear review process: 1. Is the request from a remote pilot seeking to fly under 14 CFR Part 101 (Subpart E, Special Rule for Model Aircraft)? If yes, proceed to step A; if no, evaluate as a non-Part 101 UAS operation (proceed to step 2) . NOTE: Items 1a-1e are considered best practices, as an airport operator cannot deny (i.e., prohibit or prevent) recreational (Part 101) model aircraft operations, but an objection can be noted and unsafe or suspected unauthorized use can be reported (FAA 2017, Flying for Fun Under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft). a. Is the proposed use for personal enjoyment or education use (e.g., evaluation of a UAS design or exhibition to promote STEM)? If yes, proceed; if no, object, deny endorsement, and recommend user seek appropriate Federal operational approval (e.g., Part 107, public/civil COA, or SAC). b. Confirm the user will not be receiving compensation (e.g., payment, goods, or services in kind) or they are not capturing data for a faculty-led research project. If yes, proceed; if no, object, deny endorsement, and recommend user seek appropriate Federal operational approval (see Figure 2 for a breakdown of typically authorized vs. not-authorized operations under Part 101).
Managing and Engaging Stakeholders on UAS in the Vicinity of Airports Â 20 c. Does the proposed use (operation) and the specific UAS comply with the requirements of a national community based organization (CBO), such as the Academy of Model Aeronautics? If yes, proceed; if no, object, deny endorsement, and recommend user either: 1) modify proposed use to comply with CBO requirements or 2) seek appropriate Federal operational approval. d. Does the proposed use comply with State and local laws governing such use (e.g., UAS, aircraft, or vehicles) in your area? If yes, proceed; if no, request the user complies (revise Operational Plan to address specific requirements and exhibits proof of compliance), else object and, deny endorsement. e. Has the user contacted all airports, heliports, and seaplane bases within a 5SM radius of the proposed operational area? (NOTE: check location using tool such as B4UFly). If yes, and all additional criteria has been satisfied, approve/support operations; if no, request the user complies and then exhibits proof of compliance, else object and deny endorsement. 2. Is the user either a public (e.g., governmental organization or public school/college/university) or civil (all others) operator? If yes, proceed to step A; if no, request further information NOTE: Public COA holders are permitted to self-certify remote pilots. a. Has the user obtained appropriate Federal approval for operation in your area (as defined below; FAA UAS operational requirement)? If yes, proceed; if no, deny approval/endorsement (such flight not permissible) until criteria are met. i. Under Part 107: in Class G airspace with a registered and marked sUAS conforming to weight and performance limits (e.g., less than 55 pounds MTOW, less than 100mph/87knots; see 22.214.171.124). ii. Under Part 107 with COW: in accordance with Part 107, except where allowable deviation is specified in approved COW. iii. Under public/civil COA, within approved (defined) operational area or in under nationwide Blanket COA requirements: in Class G airspace with a registered and marked sUAS conforming to weight and performance limits (e.g., less than 55 pounds MTOW, less than 100mph/87knots); either case also requires pilot to file a NOTAM 24 to 72 hours before operation iv. Under SAC: within specified requirements of approval b. Will the flight be conducted under the authority of a certified and current pilot in command (as defined below; FAA UAS operational requirement)? If yes, proceed; if no, deny approval/endorsement (such flight not permissible) until criteria are met. i. Operations under Part 107: FAA certified Remote Pilot Certificate (RPC) operator (certified within last two years). ii. Operations under Civil COA (333 Exception)/SAC: by current manned rated pilot (applicable certification current within last two years; e.g., any Part-61 certification except student pilot; includes sport, private, instrument, commercial, and airline transport pilot). iii. Operations under a Public COA: organizations are permitted to self-certify remote pilots (confirm certification endorsement).
Managing and Engaging Stakeholders on UAS in the Vicinity of Airports Â 21 c. Does the user have an Operational Plan, including appropriate SMS and checklists, specific to the UAS (non-mandatory best practice, with exception of checklist which is a FAA UAS operational requirement)? If yes, and any additional criteria you deem necessary has been met, proceed; if no, deny approval/endorsement until criteria are met (i.e., recommend they create and submit an appropriate Operational Plan addressing specific areas of concern or desired detail). d. Has the user contacted all applicable stakeholders that may be affected by operation (e.g., , landowner[s], other government agencies, or other parties; non-mandatory best practice)? If yes, proceed; if no, deny approval/endorsement until criteria are met (i.e., contact affected parties). e. Does the proposed use comply with State and local laws governing such use (e.g., UAS, aircraft, or vehicles) in your area (FAA UAS operational requirement)? If yes, and all additional criteria you may have has been satisfied approve/support operations; if no, request the user complies (revise Operational Plan to address specific requirements and exhibits proof of compliance), else deny approval/endorsement. 2.2.6 Further Resources The following represent resources that may assist airport operators in external cooperation/coordination with public and civil (i.e., commercial) UAS operators in their community: ï· Know Before You Fly website: http://knowbeforeyoufly.org/ ï· Federal Aviation Administration o UAS webpage (including Getting Started, Beyond the Basics, and FAQ): https://www.faa.gov/uas/ o State and Local Regulation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Fact Sheet: https://www.faa.gov/uas/resources/uas_regulations_policy/media/uas_fact_sheet_ final.pdf o FAA Order JO 7200.23A (August 1,2017): https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Order/JO_7200.23A_Unmanned_A ircraft_Systems_(UAS).pdf ï· Academy of Model Aeronautics o National Model Aircraft Safety Code: https://www.modelaircraft.org/files/105.pdf o Safety Handbook: https://www.modelaircraft.org/sites/default/files/100.pdf ï· Online Aeronautical Charts (featuring UAS NOTAMs, i.e. DROTAMs; see âLayers-> Weatherâ): https://skyvector.com ï· Example UAS Operational Checklists/Manuals o Pre-flight: https://support.dronedeploy.com/v1/docs/pre-flight-checklist o General checklist: https://inside.mines.edu/UserFiles/File/PoGo/Compliance%26Ethics/UAS_Chec klist_PrePostFlight_Draft2016Nov5.pdf
Managing and Engaging Stakeholders on UAS in the Vicinity of Airports Â 22 o Commercial Best Practices: https://www.aig.com/content/dam/aig/america- canada/us/documents/business/specialty/guide-lrc-aero_business-uas-best- practices-sample-final.pdf o Pre/post- operation checklist: https://www.faasafety.gov/files/helpcontent/courses/suas_5095_lms_2/resources/ index.htm o Example Operations Manual: http://www.pipermountainaerial.com/uploads/1/0/2/0/102025336/piper- mountain-aerial_uas-operations-manual.pdf Privacy and Data Considerations This section briefly discusses privacy and data considerations for UAS operations in the vicinity of airports. It is not in the airportâs authority to dictate or provide legal guidance regarding UAS privacy for those operating in the vicinity of their airport. However, there are some considerations worth noting so that airports can best inform these stakeholders. Additionally, when these operations are established under agreement with the airport, some additional privacy/considerations are established. The very characteristics that make UAS so promising for commercial uses, including their small size, maneuverability and capacity to carry various kinds of recording or sensory devices, are the same characteristics that raise privacy issues among member of the public. Public concerns related to privacy are commonly associated with UAS operations that collect data including videos and images that, if disclosed, could reveal private information of people and businesses. This concern is relevant for both Part 101 (hobbyist), public UAS operations (Certificate of Authorization [or waiver] and Part 107), and commercial UAS operations (Part 107 or Section 333 exemption). To mitigate these concerns, the NTIA (an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce) brought together stakeholder groups including privacy advocates, governments and industry to craft privacy best practices, which were endorsed and published in 2016. Additionally, if an airport enters into an agreement with a UAS operator (e.g., a routine permission to operate from the airport or its surrounding airspace; a tenant agreement to operate routinely from the airport), then privacy and data policy issues should be considered to maintain the appropriate level of privacy as necessary for the nature of those operations and the agreement. The most direct approach to addressing this concern would be the implementation of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) between all parties involved in supporting the operation. Potential topics of disclosure include operatorâs clientele and business specific details regarding the operations performed under
Managing and Engaging Stakeholders on UAS in the Vicinity of Airports Â 24 police to obtain a warrant prior to using UAS for surveillance; prohibitions on the use of UAS for voyeurism; exclusions on using UAS for hunting or fishing, or harassing individuals engaged in those activities; and prohibitions on attaching firearms or other weapons to a UASâ (FAA 2015a). In July, 2018, the FAA issued a Press Release which reiterated the fact that, â[c]ities and municipalities are not permitted to have their own rules or regulations governing the operation of aircraft.â In 2017, one such local ordinance, in the City of Newton, Massachusetts, was involved in a case of first impression, laying the foundation for similar ordinances across the country to be challenged. In the Newton case a federal judge struck down parts of the ordinance that conflicted with federal law and the intent of Congress. The stricken parts were the cityâs ban of drone flights over private property at or below 400 feet without the property ownerâs permission; the requirement to register the drones with the city; and a ban on drones overflying schools, city property, or sporting events without specific permission (âJudge Overturns Local Law that Effectively Banned Drones over Small Townâ, 2017, September 22). It is noteworthy to recognize that a property ownerâs right remains to allow or prohibit takeoffs and landings from their property. This extends to public land as well as private residences, but does not conflict with federal law on the governance of the airspace above said land. This is why the National Park Service, for instance, is within its right to prohibit takeoffs and landings from the surface or require a person request permission. Â