Once considered the domain of the military and quasi-secret government entities, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) have now arrived on the main stage for consumers, organizations, and communities of all sizes to embrace. Labeled Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the realm of commercial UAS use is now governed by FAA Part 107 -- the first series of "operational rules for routine commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or “drones”), opening pathways towards fully integrating UAS into the nation’s airspace." The FAA Part 107 rule took effect on August 29, 2016 and industry analysts say the rule could generate more than $82 billion for the U.S. economy and create more than 100,000 new jobs over the next 10 years. No, that is not a misprint. It is important to note that while commercial UAS use is now governed by FAA Part 107, this rule will not affect hobbyist pilots who fly for fun. However, model aircraft operators must continue to satisfy all the criteria specified in Section 336 of Public Law 112-95 (which will now be codified in Part 101), including the stipulation they be operated only for hobby or recreational purposes.
To help navigate the expected flood of drones taking to the skies in the foreseeable future, the FAA also this past week announced the formation of the Drone Advisory Committee (DAC). The DAC was formed under the RTCA federal advisory committee and will meet at least three times a year. Members will discuss key issues and challenges associated with integrating unmanned aircraft in the world’s busiest and most complicated airspace system. The committee will conduct more detailed business through a subcommittee and various task groups that will help the FAA prioritize its activities, including the development of future regulations and policies. So what does this mean for commercial and governmental UAS operators and those communities and organizations seeking to implement an unmanned aviation strategy? The short answer is that it will require leaders to reevaluate and possibly reshape many of the ways in which they operate and new tactics and increased competition appears from (literally) out of the sky. This is precisely why companies like Airborne Response of Miami Beach, Florida have been created to help professional organizations properly navigate the quickly changing sky scape of UAV/UAS use in the modern era. Learn more about Airborne Response by visiting us as airborneresponse.com