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DOT/FAA RIN: 2120-AJ60 Publication ID: Fall 2014 
Title: +Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) 
Abstract:

This rulemaking would adopt specific rules for the operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) in the National Airspace System. These changes would address the classification of small unmanned aircraft, certification of their pilots and visual observers, registration, approval of operations, and operational limits in order to increase the safety and efficiency of the national airspace system.

 
Agency: Department of Transportation(DOT)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 14 CFR 91   
Legal Authority: 49 USC 44701    PL 112-95   
Legal Deadline:
Action Source Description Date
Final  Statutory  Public Law 112-95, section 332(b) requires issuance of final rule 18 months after integration plan is submitted to Congress. Integration plan due Feb. 14, 2013.   08/14/2014 

Statement of Need:

The FAA is proposing to amend its regulations to adopt specific rules for the operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS). These changes would address the classification of sUAS, certification of sUAS pilots and visual observers, registration of sUAS, approval of sUAS operations, and sUAS operational limits. The NPRM also proposes regulations for all sUAS, including operating standards for model aircraft and low performance (e.g., toy) operations, to increase the safety and efficiency of the NAS. The FAA and sUAS community lack sufficient formal safety data regarding unmanned operations to support granting traditional, routine access to the NAS. This proposed rule would result in the regular collection of safety data from the user community and help the FAA develop new regulations and expand sUAS access to the NAS.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

This rulemaking is required by the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, Public Law 112-95, sec. 332(b)The FAA’s authority to issue rules on aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the U.S. Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator, including the authority to issue, rescind, and revise regulations. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency’s authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Title 49 U.S. Code Transportation. Pursuant to Subtitle I, Chapter 1, Sections 106(f)(2)(iii) and (3)(A), the Administrator is authorized to promulgate regulations, rules, orders, circulars, bulletins, and other publications of the Administrator, and to issue, rescind and revise such regulations as are necessary to carry out those functions. Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Chapter 447Safety Regulation. Pursuant to section 44701 (a)(5), the FAA is charged with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft by, among other things, prescribing regulations the FAA finds necessary for safety in air commerce and national security.

Alternatives:

This rulemaking is required by the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, Public Law 112-95, sec. 332(b)The FAA’s authority to issue rules on aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the U.S. Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator, including the authority to issue, rescind, and revise regulations. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency’s authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Title 49 U.S. Code Transportation. Pursuant to Subtitle I, Chapter 1, Sections 106(f)(2)(iii) and (3)(A), the Administrator is authorized to promulgate regulations, rules, orders, circulars, bulletins, and other publications of the Administrator, and to issue, rescind and revise such regulations as are necessary to carry out those functions. Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Chapter 447Safety Regulation. Pursuant to section 44701 (a)(5), the FAA is charged with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft by, among other things, prescribing regulations the FAA finds necessary for safety in air commerce and national security.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

Costs and benefits for this rulemaking are to be determined.

Risks:

Commercial operations currently have no legal means to conduct operations.  Due to the time and cost of traditional processes and without new regulations, commercial operations will not be able to operate until the necessary standards are developed by the UAS community.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  01/00/2015 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Information URL: www.regulations.gov   Public Comment URL: www.regulations.gov  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Agency Contact:
Lance Nuckolls
Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office
Department of Transportation
Federal Aviation Administration
490 L'Enfant Plaza, SW,
Washington, DC 20024
Phone:202-267-8447
Email: UAS-rule@faa.gov

 
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