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How Do I ... ?—FAA Resources for UAS

Source: FAA Safety Briefing, May/June 2021
By: Susan K. Parson

Whether you are a traditional pilot looking to expand into piloting drones, or a newcomer attracted to the utility and accessibility (not to mention the fun) of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), you might be a tad uncertain about options, procedures, and requirements. The FAA website’s UAS Portal is here to help. When you enter the portal (see Learn More for link), you will find a landing page with links to a full range of resources. For those starting from scratch, the screenshot shows the decision tree — and, as the text at the bottom indicates, we can help you figure out which category you need to explore. Clicking on the “not sure” link uses a simple set of questions to pinpoint precisely what you need for the purpose you have in mind.

screenshot of FAA website

type of drone flyer

In addition to the decision tree, the FAA website’s UAS landing page offers quick links to everything from the B4UFly app to the “Drone Zone,” along with information about keeping your remote pilot certificate current. The information is also available in Spanish.

Remote ID

The very top of the FAA website’s UAS landing page provides links to information on the newest regulations for UAS. You will want to read the information carefully, but you might find the graphic summary on the Remote ID overview page particularly helpful. It summarizes the three ways that a remote pilot can comply with the new requirements.

New Advisory Circular 107-2A

Hot off the press, as this issue of FAA Safety Briefing goes to print, is the updated version of the FAA’s Advisory Circular on Small UAS. Issued on Feb. 1, 2021, AC 107-2A is intended to provide guidance for conducting small UAS operations in the National Airspace System in accordance with 14 CFR part 107. Even if you’re familiar with the original version of this AC, it’s never a bad idea to refresh your knowledge. This version also includes new material on part 89, the Remote ID rule, starting in section 5.17. As the text indicates, the FAA is providing further information on Remote ID in two additional ACs: AC 89-1, Means of Compliance Process for Remote Identification of Unmanned Aircraft; and AC 89-2, Declaration of Compliance Process for Remote Identification of Unmanned Aircraft.

Keeping Current

The FAA website’s UAS portal also includes information on keeping your remote pilot certificate current. (Note: In addition, the FAA website’s Airman Testing page offers links to the Airman Certification Standards for Remote Pilot Certification.) There’s a lot more information on the UAS portal, so it’s worth spending some time to get acquainted with the full range of options for expanding your aeronautical repertoire. Enjoy!

Learn More

FAA UAS Portal - faa.gov/uas

AC 107-2A — Small Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) - https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/advisory_circulars/index.cfm/go/document.information/documentID/1038977

Susan K. Parson is editor of FAA Safety Briefing and a Special Assistant in the FAA’s Flight Standards Service. She is a general aviation pilot and flight instructor.

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