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AUVSI releases interactive analysis of FAA UAS exemptions

April 15, 2016  - By

The Association for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (AUVSI) unveiled an interactive analysis of U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Section 333 unmanned aircraft system (UAS) exemptions.

The FAA has awarded more than 3,000 Section 333 Exemption Grants since September 2014 to allow individuals, businesses, non-profits and governmental agencies to fly drones.

AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems and Robotics Database provided the data for the analyses, which shows UAS exemptions by state and month, a business analysis revealing revenue and employees, UAV applications, top manufacturers, top drones, airframe and industry.

The report finds that finds 38 types of business operations have been approved by the FAA to fly UAS commercially in the National Airspace System (NAS). Aerial photography received the most, followed by real estate and aerial inspection.

The report also finds that exemptions have been approved in all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico.

“The UAS industry is poised to be one of the fastest growing sectors in the U.S., and these numbers demonstrate that a wide variety of industries are eager to take advantage of this technology,” said Brian Wynne, president and CEO of AUVSI. “From inspecting our nation’s infrastructure to providing farmers with aerial views of their crops, the applications of UAS are virtually limitless. It’s no wonder businesses – small and large – are clamoring to use this technology.”

Congress also mandated that the FAA develop rules for integration of UAS into the national airspace, however these rules, which would provide anyone who follows the rules access to the airspace, are not expected until at least June 2016.

1 Comment on "AUVSI releases interactive analysis of FAA UAS exemptions"

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  1. Ray says:

    It’s true that the FAA has issued more than 3,000 Section 333 Exemptions. The problem is these exceptions are conditional, the operator of said drone is required to have an FAA Certified Pilot…as in manned aircraft pilot. You may see 2,000 real estate companies for example with a Section 333 Exemption, but I seriously doubt very few if any hold a Certified pilot’s license or contracts a certified pilot to operate their drones. The reason now is the FAA views drones as U.S. Aircraft and the FAA can not simply grant anyone the ability to fly without a pilot’s license. So they may hail those 3,000+ 333 Exemptions as some form of success, their worthless without a $5,000+ pilot’s license. Whether that be a Sports, Private, or Balloon. Keep in mind, there is more registered drones than there are U.S. Certified Pilots with more applying for their 333 Exemptions each day. The FAA needs to create a UAV/UAS specific pilots license program…one that doesn’t cost $5,000 either.