FAA news

For the first time, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is seeking public comments on proposed airworthiness criteria for an unmanned aircraft system, more popularly known as a drone.

The Federal Register notice asks for comments on proposed design standards needed for the FlightScan Corporation Camcopter S-100 to fly safely in U.S. airspace. The ultimate goal of this and other projects is to grant FAA airworthiness certification to fully functional, ready-to-operate unmanned aircraft. The S-100 is the first unmanned aircraft to have its certification basis published.

The Camcopter S-100 is a vertical take-off drone that looks much like a traditional helicopter. It is powered by a liquid-cooled rotary engine and has a maximum take-off weight of 440 pounds including its payload. The drones main purpose is to conduct airborne surveying of power transmission infrastructure using aerial photography.

FlightScan applied for FAA certification of the S-100 using the special class provisions under Part 21.17(b) of FAA regulations in June of 2015. Since then, the agency has worked with the company to develop airworthiness criteria that support safe integration of the S-100 into the National Airspace System.

After the comment period ending December 18, 2017, the FAA will evaluate the public comments to determine if any changes should be made to the proposed airworthiness criteria.

WASHINGTON As his term at the Federal Aviation Administration comes to an end early next year, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta spoke today at the Aero Club in Washington, D.C. With a perspective spanning more than seven years at the agency, his remarks focused on the importance of building partnerships with stakeholders to continue advancing Americas global leadership on aviation.

The only way forward was to foster a more constructive relationship with the aviation community, Huerta said. The result is the safest, largest, most complex, and most efficient air transportation system the world has ever known. And its something we accomplished together.

Under Huertas leadership, the FAA worked closely with industry and a variety of advisory committees to prioritize the rollout of airspace modernization technologies like Data Communications and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B). The agency also streamlined how it certifies new small general aviation aircraft, incorporated risk management into its oversight work, and completed its first regulations for the use of small unmanned aircraft.

Huerta recognized that incorporating new stakeholders, like drone users and technology companies, into the FAAs decision-making processes will be essential to continue making progress in the future.

Our aviation family is only going to keep expanding. Our table has to grow with it, he said. We need to hear from a broad range of voices if we're going to get things right.

Huerta also encouraged the entire aviation community to engage in transparent and frank discussions about how to best position our nations aviation system to meet the demands of the future.

The sky above our heads is one of this nations most valuable assets. We must protect it, and help it thrive, Huerta said. Weve got some tough questions to answer. But Im confident were prepared to face them head on.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an updated Advisory Circular (AC) for aircraft system designers, installers and operators seeking design and use guidance for hosting electronic flight bag (EFB) applications on both portable devices and installed equipment.

The AC includes significant changes from the last guidance in May 2014 that offer industry new EFB applications and the ability to manage their EFB programs with significantly less FAA involvement. An EFB is an electronic information management device that helps flight crews perform flight management tasks more easily and efficiently with less paper.

The FAA worked closely with industry, other regulatory authorities, and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Operations Panel to harmonize EFB guidance. Specifically, the new policy eliminates all guidance associated with EFB classification, clarifies the definition of an EFB, and reorganizes EFB application software types according to safety importance.

This newest guidance document also made two significant changes requested by aviation stakeholders. First, the FAA is removing its previous prohibition on the display of aircraft location during flight on various EFB applications. Previously, this function was only available on the ground. In addition, new EFB program management guidance will permit the operator to make many of the day-to-day changes to EFB applications without having to contact their FAA principal inspector.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted a waiver from the agencys small drone rules (Part 107) to Cevitasnow in Columbus, OH, to allow the company to operate a helium-filled Aerotain Skye tethered aircraft over people on the ground.

The Aerotain Skye resembles a tethered floating beach ball, but is technically an aircraft. It carries a camera and small motors for propulsion. The Skyes diameter is about 7.5 feet and it weighs about 14 lbs. deflated. The envelope is filled with helium.

There is no location limitation in the waiver, so Cevitasnow can operate anywhere in uncontrolled airspace. An airspace authorization or waiver from the FAA is required for flights in controlled airspace, just as for any other drone operator.

The Cevistasnow waiver is part of the FAAs continuing effort to expand drone operations in the nations airspace while reducing risks to public safety and security.

November 9The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has prepared a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Cleveland-Detroit Metroplex project that will be available for public comment beginning on Friday, November 10, 2017. The comment period will end on Monday, December 11, 2017.

Electronic versions of the Draft EA also will be available at 68 libraries in the study area. Residents may comment on the document electronically, through the U.S. mail, or at any of six open-house workshops, which will be held in late November and early December. Three of the workshops will be held in the Detroit metropolitan area, and three will be held in the Cleveland area.

The projects proposed action would improve the efficiency of air traffic in and around the Cleveland and Detroit metropolitan areas. The project uses satellite-based technology to create changes to aircraft flight routes and altitudes in certain areas. Many of the routes overlay existing flight paths. It does not increase the number of aircraft taking off and landing, and it does not result in ground disturbance. Instead, the project develops more climbs and descents on departure and arrival routes, which can result in fewer delays. It enhances safety, and modernizes air traffic procedures to todays standards.

The study area includes 12 airports areas around Cleveland and Detroit, including Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Detroit Metro Airport.

The FAA invites the public to review the documents before attending informational workshops at the times and locations listed below. Representatives from the FAA will be available to answer questions and will accept written comments.

Detroit Area WorkshopsNovember 28, 2017
5-8 p.m.Ford Community and Performing Arts Center (Hubbard Ballroom
15801 Michigan Ave., Dearborn, MI, 48126November 29, 2017
5-8 p.m.Dozier Recreation Complex (Meeting Lounge)
2025 Middlebelt Road, Inkster, MI, 48141November 30, 2017
5-8 p.m.Sumpter Township Community Center (Gymnasium)
23501 Sumpter Road, Belleville, MI, 48111Cleveland Area WorkshopsDecember 5, 2017
5-8 p.m.Don Umerley Civic Center (Memorial Hall)
21016 Hilliard Blvd., Rocky River, OH, 44116December 6, 2017
5-8 p.m.Gunning Park Recreation Center (Gymnasium)
16700 Puritas Avenue, Cleveland, OH, 44135December 7, 2017
5-8 p.m.Baldwin Wallace University Student Union/Strosacker Hall (Sandstone 3 Conference Room)
120 East Grand St., Berea, OH 44017

The FAA will make every reasonable effort to accommodate special needs. People with special communication or accommodation needs may contact Bill Keller of ATAC Corp. at 408-736-2822 at least two days prior to the workshop.

Email comments to: 9-ASW-CLE-DTWOAPM Comment@faa.gov

Comments can be submitted by regular mail to:
CLE-DTW Metroplex EA
Federal Aviation Administration
Central Service CenterOperations Support Group
10101 Hillwood Pkwy, 4th Floor South
Fort Worth, TX 76177

The comment period will close on Monday, December 11, 2017.

Program accelerates the integration of drones into our airspace by creating various partnerships across the country.

October 27 The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) today announced the signing of an implementing agreement under the U.S. China Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) recognizing each others regulatory systems with respect to the airworthiness of aviation products and articles.

The Implementation Procedures for Airworthiness (IPA) document allows each authority to leverage approvals completed by the other with respect to design, production, and airworthiness as well as continued airworthiness. The agreement uses the compatibilities of the two authorities certification systems and fulfills the commitment that the U.S. and China made in 2005 with the establishment of a BASA. This IPA also allows both the FAA and the CAAC to submit applications for validation for all categories of aviation products and addresses globalization challenges such as complex business models separating design and production.

This agreement supports the FAA Aircraft Certification Services refresh of certification strategy by responding to stakeholder needs and promoting the seamless transfer of products and approvals globally.

October 25WASHINGTON President Donald J. Trump directed U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao today to launch an initiative to safely test and validate advanced operations for drones in partnership with state and local governments in select jurisdictions. The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program implements a directive signed by President Trump today, and the results will be used to accelerate the safe integration UAS into the national airspace and to realize the benefits of unmanned technology in our economy.

The program will help tackle the most significant challenges in integrating drones into the national airspace while reducing risks to public safety and security. The program is designed to provide regulatory certainty and stability to local governments and communities, UAS owners and operators who are accepted into the program. In less than a decade, the potential economic benefit of integrated unmanned aerial systems into the nations airspace is estimated to equal up to $82 billion and create up to 100,000 jobs.*

The program will help the USDOT and FAA develop a regulatory framework that will allow more complex low-altitude operations; identify ways to balance local and national interests; improve communications with local, state and tribal jurisdictions; address security and privacy risks; and accelerate the approval of operations that currently require special authorizations.

This program supports the Presidents commitment to foster technological innovation that will be a catalyst for ideas that have the potential to change our day-to-day lives, said Secretary Chao. Drones are proving to be especially valuable in emergency situations, including assessing damage from natural disasters such as the recent hurricanes and the wildfires in California.

The pilot program will evaluate a variety of operational concepts, including night operations, flights over people, flights beyond the pilots line of sight, package delivery, detect-and-avoid technologies, counter-UAS security operations, and the reliability and security of data links between pilot and aircraft. Industries that could see immediate opportunities from the program include commerce, photography, emergency management, precision agriculture, and infrastructure inspections and monitoring.

Stakeholders will have the opportunity through this program to demonstrate how their innovative technological and operational solutions can address complex unmanned aircraft integration challenges, said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. At the same time, the program recognizes the importance of community participation in meaningful discussions about balancing local and national interests related to integrating unmanned aircraft.

Prospective local government participants should partner with the private sector to develop pilot proposals.

After evaluating all of the applications, the U.S. Department of Transportation will invite a minimum of five partnerships. In the coming days, the Department will publish a Federal Register Notice with more details about how applications will be evaluated and how the program will work.

October 24 Were pleased with where general aviation safety is headed. The numbers arent final, but it looks like 2017 will end up being our safest year yet. Working together with industry to meaningfully address safety is making a difference and were going to continue our collaboration to make GA even safer.

Its an issue that needs to be approached from many angles some regulatory, some technological, some educational. And thats the driving force behind the fifth annual General Aviation Safety Summit we held with our government and industry partners today.

Weve made substantial progress since last years gathering. The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) continues to implement targeted safety enhancements. We finalized the Part 23 rule that will help decrease the time to get safety-enhancing technologies for small airplanes to the marketplace. The Fly Safe educational campaign has reached millions of our social media followers with information on how to avoid loss of control accidents. And in collaboration with aviation training community experts, last summer we updated key elements of the airman certification system to include an enhanced focus on risk management.

Theres no silver bullet when it comes to making GA safer. We have to remain vigilant and keep finding new ways to advance our shared safety mission. The GA community has been willing to roll up their sleeves and ask, How can we fix this together? With that kind of attitude, I know we can tackle anything that comes our way and get ever closer to the day when general aviation fatalities are a thing of the past.

October 19 Safety in todays global aviation market depends to a great extent on international partnerships between aviation regulators. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) fully subscribes to this philosophy, which is why on September 22 the agency updated its long-standing aviation safety agreement with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)

The changes in this agreement enhance the risk-based approach to safety by optimizing reliance on each authoritys expertise in aircraft certification through Revision 6 of the Technical Implementation Procedures (TIP). The revision will go into effect six months from the signing date of September 22, 2017.

Typically, the FAA and EASA do not completely duplicate each others certification of aircraft products, instead each entity performs a validation of certification activities. The new TIP revision will permit increased acceptance of approvals without technical involvement by the authority conducting the validation. In certain cases, the revised TIP also will allow a streamlined validation process to expedite issuance of a type certificate without technical review. These changes give both the FAA and EASA the opportunity to have even greater reliance on the regulatory capabilities and the technical competencies of one anothers aircraft certification systems.

When technical involvement is necessary to validate a product, a work plan will now be required to define the extent of the validating authoritys involvement. This provides a structured approach using program management principles to ensure accountability to the bilateral agreement.

Revision 6 of the TIP contributes directly to the FAAs overall vision of global leadership by promoting international partnerships to reduce barriers and leads the advancement of aviation safety across geopolitical boundaries.