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Thu, Aug 29, 2019

FAA Sees Surge In Emergency UAS Authorization Requests

On Track To Nearly Double From 2018 To 2019

The FAA has seen a surge in Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) requests for Special Government Interest airspace authorizations for law enforcement and public safety activities related to wildfires and hurricanes.

Inside Unmanned Systems reports that in 2018, the agency granted 708 SGI authorizations for such events. In 2019, the agency has already issued 600, putting it on track to nearly double over last year.

The FAA's Talwyn (Tal) Haley, who is with the System Operations Security Directorate within the Systems Operations Support Center (SOSC), said drone use is becoming more common among first responders and emergency personnel. “More first responder groups are taking advantage of UAS in airspace outside their area of responsibility to support emergency activities, which is likely a reflection of the greater use of UAS in emergencies and raised awareness about our group,” she said.

The SOSC operates under the auspices of the FAA's Air Traffic Organization Office. “It makes sense that we provide emergency support for UAS,” Haley said. “We understand airspace, as we’re all air traffic controllers. And we’re available 24/7 to support emergencies, and have verbal authority to grant authorizations, if needed.”

(Image from file)

FMI: Source report

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