FAA Grants Additional Commercial UAS Exemptions

By Staff Writer | January 9, 2015
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Photo courtesy VDOS Global

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently awarded five regulatory exemptions for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operations to four companies in various industries.

Trimble Navigation Limited, VDOS Global, and Clayco all received one exemption, and Woolpert received two. These companies will use UAS to aid in aerial surveying, construction site monitoring and oil rig flare stack inspections.


According to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, the UAS in the proposed operations do not pose a threat to national airspace users or national security, and therefore do not need an FAA-issued certificate of airworthiness based on Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA).

The four firms also requested exemptions from regulations that address general flight rules, pilot certificate requirements, manuals, maintenance and equipment mandates. Each company has agreed to operate UAS weighing less than 55 lbs and will maintain a line of sight with the UAS at all times.

Earlier this year, the FAA granted similar exemptions to six movie and TV production companies, which will allow those companies to film using UAS as long as the operators hold a private pilot certificate, keep the UAS within line of sight and restrict flight to the “sterile area” on the set.

Related: UAS News

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