Did the FAA Just Make Drone Flights Tougher? FAA Issues Notice – N JO 7210.889

In Drone Law Blog, FAA Resources by Enrico SchaeferLeave a Comment

NOTICE to Air Traffic Organizations (i.e. Control Towers and Airport Facility Operators):

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION N JO 7210.889 FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION. Air Traffic Organization Policy Effective Date: October 27, 2015 Cancellation Date: October 26, 2016 SUBJ: Unmanned Aircraft Operations in the National Airspace System (NAS).

The FAA is working hard to educate everyone concerning safe at lawful use of drones in the national airspace. The notice issue today is being sent to those people who work with drone operators in drone pilots in order to coordinate flights within the national airspace. This includes air traffic control towers.

This FAA notice is designed to help air traffic organization personnel understand what their obligations are on issues of drone safety and drone regulation compliance. The notice of breaks down the various type of uses in order to help instruct air traffic organization personnel do a better job. It is possible that the FAA is having difficulty getting air traffic personnel to perform their functions properly as part of the integration of UAV into the national airspace.

Were Air Traffic Personnel Making It Too Easy To Fly Drones?

The motivation for this notice is unclear at this time. However, it may be that certain FAA personnel and airport facilities including control towers were not paying enough attention to the requirements for commercial drone use and recreational drug use. If this is the case, it may very well be that it will be more difficult to process paperwork for commercial Drone operators.

This notice is highly educational for commercial drone operators who need to understand what is required in order for them to fly eight drone legally for business purpose. It will also help section 333 operators understand how they are supposed to communicate with air traffic organization personnel such as the air traffic control tower at the local airport and the ATC facility operators when they want to perform a commercial drone flight.

There are some really interesting items in this notice for people who are looking to fly outside standard drone flight operations including insights into the following issues:

  • Using a daisy chain of observers as the visual observers for a flight so that a drone may operate over larger distances.
  • Operating a drone from a chase plane with the pilot in command and visual observer in order to flyA UAV over larger distances.
  • The requirements for drawn operators who want to fly the drone in class A, B, C, D, E and G airspace.
  • The various avenues to obtain permission from the FAA and from an air traffic facility in order to fly in various classes of airspace.
  • Use of a letter of agreement LOL I with an air traffic facility in order to avoid COA requirements in certain airspace.
  • Reporting requirements for unauthorized UAV operations buy facility managers.
  • Processing a certificate of waiver or authorization (COA) for UAS operations.
  • Application information which is required to be provided as part of a certificate of waiver or authorization (COA) file by a commercial Drone operator.
  • The steps by which a certificate of waiver or authorization (COA) Will be reviewed and processed by the FAA after filing by a commercial drone operator.


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