Federal, state, and local government agencies need an FAA Certificate of Waiver or Authorization before flying unmanned aircraft systems. In March, the FAA created an office to oversee the process.
Dozens of organizations have in the past received authorization to fly UAVs domestically, many for research and testing purposes, but the authorization was only good for one year. In addition to the creation of the new office, a new rule extends authorizations another 12 months. The FAA has 90 days from Monday to find a way to expedite the authorization process.
We spoke to Ben Gielow, government relations manager at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, about the process and what the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, signed into law in February, means for agencies looking to fly unmanned vehicles.
thumbnail by an honorable german/flickr