The FAA’s September 26 approval of a half dozen exemptions for some TV and film production companies to operate unmanned aerial systems (UAS) stopped just short of complete approval of those operations in the national airspace system. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the UAS to be used in the proposed operations do not need an FAA-issued certificate of airworthiness because they do not pose a threat to national airspace users or national security.
Billed as the first military aircraft to be designed and built entirely in Africa, Paramount Aerospace’s AHRLAC (advanced high-performance reconnaissance light aircraft) made its public debut at the Africa Aerospace and Defence show, held last week at Waterkloof AFB, near Pretoria in South Africa. The aircraft had made its first flight on August 13.
Two sessions at next month’s NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla., will focus on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to provide attendees with information about upcoming regulations governing UAS operations and their potential effects on the business aviation industry. “Unmanned aircraft are a growing part of the business aviation community,” said NBAA senior vice president of conventions and membership Chris Strong.
European regulators are increasingly concerned about the safety risks associated with integrating unmanned aerial systems (UAS) into civil airspace, and they are especially worried about the risks posed by smaller unmanned aircraft operating alongside airliners. This was the key message from the UAS 2014 conference held in London last week.
Internet-age companies are forging ahead with plans to incorporate small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)—better known as drones—in their commercial operations. On August 28, Internet search engine and services company Google revealed that it is developing a drone delivery service and has already tested a prototype aircraft.
The FAA on August 14 released its final solicitation for a new Center of Excellence (COE) for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) tasked with identifying current and future issues critical to the safe integration of UAS into the nation’s airspace. These issues include detect-and-avoid technology, control and communications, low-altitude operations safety, compatibility with ATC operations and training and certification of UAS pilots and other crewmembers. The agency will support this new COE with at least $500,000 per year over the next 10 years.
Aurora Flight Sciences told AIN that it is close to securing up to three customers in Europe, plus one in the U.S., for its Centaur optionally piloted aircraft (OPA), which is based on the Diamond DA42 twin-engine tourer. The American company has been marketing the Centaur in the U.S. as a versatile, low-cost airborne sensing platform for two years but only recently expanded the effort to Europe.
The FAA announced that the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) test site Virginia Polytechnic Institute will manage is cleared to start flying aircraft.
Airlines should not expect to see unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) flying regularly in U.S. airspace “anytime soon,” a senior official with the Federal Aviation Administration told pilots August 7. The assurance came amid continuing reports of unauthorized UAS flights near airliners.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s inspector general’s office (IG) has significant concerns about the FAA’s plan to integrate unmanned aerial systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System. The FAA will miss the August 2014 deadline for issuing a UAS rule, “due to unresolved technological, regulatory and privacy issues,” according to the IG.
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