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.