The FAA has granted eight more regulatory exemptions for commercial use of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) operations, bringing the total number of exemption grants to 24.
The agency has issued new exemptions to Total Safety U.S. Inc. for flare stack inspections, to LikeonaTree Aerial for aerial photography and surveys, and to Team 5, Shotover Camera Systems, Helinet Aviation Services, and Alan D. Purwin for film and television production.
Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx found that the RPAs 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. Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 permits the exemptions, FAA officials note.
In granting the exemptions, the FAA considered the planned operating environments and required certain conditions and limitations to assure the safe operation of the RPAs in the National Airspace System. For example, operations require both a pilot and observer, the pilot must have at least an FAA private pilot certificate and a current medical certificate, and the RPA must remain within line of sight at all times.
As of today, the FAA has received 342 requests for exemptions from commercial entities and individuals.