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|Publication ID: Fall 2017
|Title: Operations of Small Unmanned Aircraft Over People
This rulemaking would address the performance-based standards and means-of-compliance for operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) over people not directly participating in the operation or not under a covered structure or inside a stationary vehicle that can provide reasonable protection from a falling small unmanned aircraft. This rule would provide relief from certain operational restrictions implemented in the Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems final rule (RIN 2120-AJ60).
|Agency: Department of Transportation(DOT)
|Priority: Other Significant
|RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda
|Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage
|Unfunded Mandates: No
|EO 13771 Designation: Deregulatory
|CFR Citation: 14 CFR 107
|Legal Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(f) 49 U.S.C. 40101 49 U.S.C. 40103(b) 49 U.S.C. 44701(a)(5) Pub. L. 112-95, sec. 333
Statement of Need:
This rulemaking would permit the operation of small unmanned aircraft over people not directly participating in the operation or not under a covered structure or inside a stationary vehicle that can provide reasonable protection from a falling small unmanned aircraft. Currently, such operations are prohibited. This rule relieves restrictions and provides mitigations to protect people on the ground.
Summary of the Legal Basis:
Section 333 of Public Law 112-95 directs the Secretary of Transportation to determine whether "certain unmanned aircraft systems may operate safely in the national airspace system." If the Secretary determines, pursuant to section 333, that certain unmanned aircraft systems may operate safely in the national airspace system, then the Secretary must "establish requirements for the safe operation of such aircraft system in the national airspace system." This rulemaking is also promulgated pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 40103(b)(1) and (2), which charge the FAA with issuing regulations: (1) to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace; and (2) to govern the flight of aircraft for purposes of navigating, protecting and identifying aircraft, and protecting individuals and property on the ground. In addition, 49 U.S.C. 44701(a)(5) charges the FAA with prescribing regulations that the FAA finds necessary for safety in air commerce and national security.
The FAA considered finalizing the micro UAS provisions originally proposed in the sUAS Operation and Certification notice of proposed rulemaking. The FAA also formulated an AFS-80 Working Group that developed recommendations for the agency. The agency was unable to adopt those recommendations in the sUAS Operation and Certification final rule, however, because they were outside the scope of what was proposed in the NPRM. Given the limitations of the micro UAS proposal in the NPRM and the comments received, and with the concurrence of the Office of the Secretary of Transportation and the Office of Management and Budget, it was determined that the best course of action was to withdraw the micro UAS provisions from the sUAS Operation and Certification rule and place them in a new notice of proposed rulemaking.
Anticipated Costs and Benefits:
Until the FAA has defined micro UAS (either in terms of properties, such as weight, or performance) we cannot quantify costs or benefits of the rule. However, as in the case of part 107 more generally, because this is an enabling provision that opens up market opportunities we expect the benefits will outweigh the costs since an entrepreneur will only voluntarily incur the costs in the expectation of returns that exceed those costs. It is not possible at this time to estimate benefits and costs resulting from level three or greater injury caused by operations conducted under this rule.
If this rule is not implemented, operations over people not directly participating in the operation or not under a covered structure or inside a stationary vehicle that can provide reasonable protection from a falling small unmanned aircraft will continue to be prohibited.
|Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes
|Government Levels Affected: None
|Small Entities Affected: Businesses
|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
|Related RINs: Related to 2120-AJ60
Department of Transportation
Federal Aviation Administration
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Rochester, NY 14624