Lots of excitement and speculation as everyone waits for the FAA to release Part 107 on June 21 2016.
I expect there to be a huge amount of material but wanted to get this up for those of you who rely on DroneBusiness.center for your news. NOTE THIS IS NOT FINAL.
Thanks to Cliff Whitney at #UAVEXPERTS you can download what is believed to be the final copy of the Summary Of Major Provisions Under 14 CFR 107 here. 55 pounds, 400′, 87 knots/100mph and VLOS remain the operating parameters. However there is no requirement for a visual observer and a Remote Pilot Certificate under Part 107 will replace a traditional pilots license under Part 61 so this should create downward pricing pressure in the photo and video markets. On the other hand, if you are a buyer of DaaS, more than ever caveat emptor is the order of the day.
Some good news for racing fans. The draft says that FPV does not satisfy sense and avoid but can be used as long as the requirement is satisfied another way. No word as to what that is, but probably safe to assume that a visual observer will be required. That would seem to leave wiggle room for racing on a closed course which solves a big problem for the FAA with a slew of highly publicized races coming up.
Here is a list of operations that Jonathan Rupprecht believes will still need to be authorized via a Public COA, Section 333 exemption, or a SAC/COA combo. This includes night flights, flight over people, BVLOS etc.
But if you really want to get a clear-eyed albeit somewhat gruff view, spend 16 minutes listening to Patrick Egan’s podcast about “what will it mean, and how long will it really take?” Egan is ever the realist. He thinks (about 9:09) that the test “is a total wild card.” He notes that the FAA has played it very close to the vest and believes that it will take the FAA a substantial amount of time to develop the test (I guess they live in a serial not a parallel universe.)
Then there is the matter of flawless execution which involves training the 600 plus test sites and rolling it out. It’s helpful to remember that we are dealing with a bureaucracy that has to satisfy any number of regulations.
In addition there is considerable doubt about how long it will take the FAA to actually process individual results and issue a Remote Pilot Certificate. A 21st century dronepreneur will naturally assume that the test will be automatically graded and fulfilled. Patrick points to limited resources and the already huge backlog of 333 applications for clues, as well as the fact that official Washington DC is on summer vacation.
Finally there is the complete unknown, an oh-by-the-way gotcha that is completely out of the FAA’s control, which is how long it will take the TSA to process what can reasonably be expected to be a surge of applications.
Remember, no TSA clearance means no Remote Pilot Certificate.
That’s it for now.