FAA Announces Release of UAS Facility Maps for Drone Operators
By: Abigail Roberts
04.11.17The Federal Aviation Administration has just announced that it will release its first set of UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) facility maps on April 27, 2017, which can be found at: http://www.faa.gov/uas. Once published, these maps will reflect the areas and altitudes near US airports where drones are permitted to safely operate. The release reflects that the purpose of these maps is to help drone operators “improve the quality of their Part 107 airspace authorization requests” in addition to assisting the FAA with processing the applications in a more efficient manner.
The facility maps are designed to be used by remote pilots when completing airspace authorization applications in order to customize their requests. In doing so, the request can specifically identify altitudes and locations depicted on the map that are most likely to be approved for drone operations under Part 107.
Once the (approximately) 200 maps are published on April 27, 2017, we can expect periodic updates to coincide with the FAA”s 56-day aeronautical chart production schedule. It should be noted that, while the maps will be an extremely useful tool for drone pilots when planning their operations, Remote Pilots are still required to submit their airspace authorization applications through the FAA’s online portal: http://www.faa.gov/uas. Further, the FAA specifically notes that even strict compliance with the map’s guidance will not guarantee that a particular application will be granted.
For the FAA”s complete press release, please refer to: https://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=87867