Category: News and Updates

Join the Drone Advisory Committee (DAC) on October 17:

The FAAwill hold a Drone Advisory Committee (DAC) meeting on October 17, 2019 in Washington, D.C. The DAC will continue our public conversation about how we can collaborate on important issues like remote i.d., technical challenges, security, recreational operations, and waivers. Its a broad-based, long-term federal advisory committee that provides the FAA with advice on key drone integration issues by helping us identify challenges and prioritize improvements.

If you cant join us in person, well stream it live on the FAAs social media platforms: Twitter @FAANews, Facebook @FAA and YouTube beginning at 9:00 am ET.

October 15, 2019 at 10:57PM News and Updates

ADS-B Rebates Going, Going, Gone……:

WASHINGTON The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today that all 20,000 rebates offered to general aviation aircraft owners to equip their aircraft with a new surveillance technology have been issued and are no longer available.

Aircraft owners who have already reserved their rebate, but not claimed it yet with installation, will be allotted the specified time needed to complete the requirements for the rebate.

Starting Jan. 1, 2020, Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) Out avionics will be required for aircraft flying in certain, controlled airspace. ADS-B is the state-of-the-art surveillance system that enables air traffic controllers to track aircraft with greater accuracy and reliability.

The FAA first launched the $500 ADS-B rebate program in September 2016 to encourage owners of fixed-wing, single engine piston aircraft to equip in advance of the Jan. 1, 2020 deadline and take advantage of the many benefits ADS-B offers. The FAA has reiterated that the deadline will not change.

For more information on ADS-B, visit our website.

October 12, 2019 at 12:04AM News and Updates

FAA Update on Hurricane Dorian:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is monitoring Hurricane Dorian closely and preparing FAA facilities and equipment along the southeast coast of Florida to withstand potential damage so flights can quickly resume after the storm passes. Restoring air carrier service is critical to support disaster relief efforts.


Airlines make decisions about their flight schedules. Flights can stop long before winds reach hurricane strength. Travelers should check with their airlines before heading to the airport for a flight to or from the southeast coast of Florida. The FAA does not direct or advise airlines about cancelling flights.

Airports in the area of potential impact make decisions about closing their facilities. In many cases, airports remain open and do not officially close even when flights have stopped. The FAA does not direct or advise airports to open or close.

The FAA maintains air traffic control radar coverage and provides service to flights for as long as possible. FAA control towers in hurricane-prone areas are designed and built to sustain hurricane force winds. Each control tower has a maximum wind sustainability, which can range from 55 to 75 miles per hour. When winds approach those speeds, controllers evacuate the tower cabs. At busy airports controllers remain in the building at a secure lower level, and are ready to go back to work as soon as the storm passes.

Ahead of the storm, FAA technicians protect communications equipment and navigational aids to the greatest extent possible to enable flights to resume quickly after the storm passes. FAA technicians test engine generators and ensure they are fully fueled so they can power equipment and facilities if commercial power fails. We switch to engine generator power before the storm in anticipation of commercial power failures.

After the storm, we assess damage to FAA facilities and navigational aids. We set priorities to quickly re-establish critical equipment. The FAA has equipment, supplies and people ready to move into the affected areas as soon as the storm passes to restore air traffic control facilities that may be damaged by Hurricane Dorian. Teams of technicians and engineers from other locations travel to the affected areas to assess damage and begin restoring equipment and facilities working closely with the local technical teams.

General Aviation Pilots

Standard checklists are even more important in and around severe weather. Be aware of weather conditions throughout the entire route of your planned flight. A pilots failure to recognize deteriorating weather conditions continues to cause or contribute to accidents. Be sure to check NOTAMs, Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs), and Aircraft Safety Alerts before you go.

Check out the FAAs Hurricane Preparedness Guidance.

Drone Users

Drone users should check NOTAMs and TFRs and avoid flying in areas where drones are prohibited.

Drone pilots must comply with FAA rules and should:

  1. Avoid flying in the area unless conducting an active disaster response or recovery mission.
  2. Be aware that the FAA might issue a TFR in the affected area. Be sure to check for active TFRs if you plan to fly.
  3. Remember that you cannot fly inside a TFR without FAA approval.

Drone emergency operations and response:

  • During a natural disaster, do not fly your drone in or around emergency response efforts, unless you have special authorization to do so. There are low flying aircraft as part of the storm response mostly in low visibility areas. If you are flying, emergency response operations cannot.
  • You may be able to get expedited approval to operate in the TFR through the FAAs Special Governmental Interest(SGI) process as outlined inFAA Order JO 7200.23A. Submit an Emergency Operation Request Form with your existing Remote Pilot Certificate or existing Certification of Authorization (COA) and send to the FAA’s System Operations Support Center (SOSC) at

Dont Be That Guy!

Be aware that significant penalties that may exceed $20,000 if drone operators interfere with emergency response operations. Flying a drone without authorization in or near the disaster area may violate federal, state, or local laws and ordinances, even if aTFR is not in place. Allow first responders to save lives and property without interference.

If you are not certified as a remote pilot or do not already hold a COA, you cannot fly.

Follow the FAA on social media for the latest aviation news!

August 30, 2019 at 09:17PM News and Updates

FAA Eases Restrictions on Drone Operations Over Some Federal Facilities:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today that it is working with other federal agencies to minimize the impact of flight restrictions on drone operators flying near select federal facilities.

The FAA is working with the U.S. Department of Defense to establish intermittent restrictions on drone flights within the lateral boundaries of select federal facilities during specified times. Currently, drone operators are prohibited from flying at these locations at all times. The FAA is working to ensure that these restrictions are narrowly tailored and remain in effect only when necessary.

Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) will be issued in advance, indicating the sites where these intermittent restrictions will apply. Drone operators will be able to easily identify the status of the airspace at these locations using the FAAs Unmanned Aircraft System UAS Data Display Systems (UDDS) interactive map which will show the following:

  • The airspace shapes will appear gray when the 99.7 (special security instructions) airspace is inactive and no restrictions are placed on drone operators.
  • Approximately 24 hours before restrictions are activated, the designated airspace will change to yellow as a warning that restrictions will soon become active.
  • At the end of the 24-hour warning window, the designated airspace will change to red while the drone restrictions are in effect.
  • The specific activation times can also be viewed by clicking on the individual airspace shapes in UDDS. Operators are urged to check the UDDS website frequently before and during UAS flights, especially when operating near or within the defined airspace to which recurring transient special security instructions are applied.

These changes, which have been highlighted by FAA NOTAM FDC 9/7752, will become effective on Sept.1, 2019. This NOTAM replaces FAA NOTAM FDC 8/3277. Note that there are few exceptions that permit UAS operations within these restrictions, and those must be coordinated with the individual facility and/or the FAA.

Operators who violate the flight restrictions may be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties, criminal charges, or the loss of their UAS from counter-UAS activities.

The FAA is continuing to consider additional requests by eligible federal security agencies for UAS-specific flight restrictions using the agencys existing authority under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 99.7 as they are received. Additional changes to these restrictions will be announced by the FAA as appropriate.

Information on the NOTAM, which defines these restrictions, and all of the currently covered locations, is available. To ensure the public is aware of these restricted locations, the UDDS also provides an interactive map, downloadable geospatial data, and other important details. A link to these restrictions is included in the FAAs B4UFLY mobile app.

Broader information regarding flying drones in the National Airspace System, including frequently asked questions, is available on the FAA’s UAS website.

August 29, 2019 at 10:55PM News and Updates

Drones and Weapons, A Dangerous Mix:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is warning the general public that it is illegal to operate a drone with a dangerous weapon attached.

Perhaps youve seen online photos and videos of drones with attached guns, bombs, fireworks, flamethrowers, and other dangerous items. Do not consider attaching any items such as these to a drone because operating a drone with such an item may result in significant harm to a person and to your bank account.

Operating a drone that has a dangerous weapon attached to it is a violation of Section 363 of the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act enacted Oct. 5, 2018. Operators are subject to civil penalties up to $25,000 for each violation, unless the operator has received specific authorization from the Administrator of the FAA to conduct the operation. Dangerous Weapon means any item that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury.

Operators should keep in mind that federal regulations and statutes that generally govern drone operations still apply. Some state and federal criminal laws regarding weapons and hazardous materials may also apply to drone operators or manufacturers involved in certain operations.

August 22, 2019 at 11:00PM News and Updates

FAA Seeks Stakeholder Input on Drone Tests:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a Request for Information (RFI) this week seeking to work with stakeholders on the administration of a new aeronautical knowledge test for recreational drone operators.

Section 349 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 requires new conditions to operate recreational small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Many drones can be flown today with minimal training or knowledge of aviation rules or safety practices. The new statute is an opportunity to educate recreational flyers on UAS safety and to bring new flyers into the existing aviation safety culture.

The law requires that flyers of recreational drones pass an aeronautical knowledge and safety test. The test will demonstrate a recreational flyers understanding of aeronautical safety knowledge and rules for operating a UAS.

The FAA is developing the test content and the training in consultation with stakeholders. The test must be administered electronically by the FAA, community-based organizations, or other persons designated by the FAA. The FAAs objective is to work with third party entities to allow them to administer the knowledge training and test content on various platforms for the recreational flyer community.

The FAA is looking for entities who want to become testing designees, who will administer the training and testing to the widest audience possible, and who will develop a standard electronic record that will be issued to the potential operator upon completion of the test. The entity will provide the potential drone operator with documentation that they passed the test, which may be requested by the FAA or local law enforcement.

Interested parties should review the RFI and respond by September 12, 2019.

August 15, 2019 at 10:08PM News and Updates

Stephen M. Dickson Sworn in as Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration:

Dickson brings nearly 40 years of aviation experience to the job and becomes the 18th Administrator of the FAA.

August 13, 2019 at 01:14AM News and Updates

Fly Safe: Prevent Loss of Control Accidents:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the general aviation (GA) communitys national #FlySafe campaign helps educate GA pilots about how to avoid loss of control (LOC) accidents.

A LOC accident involves an unintended departure of an aircraft from controlled flight. LOC can happen when the aircraft enters a flight regime that is outside its normal flight envelope and quickly develops into a stall or spin. It can introduce an element of surprise for the pilot.

LOC is the number one root cause of fatalities in GA accidents. More than 25 percent of GA fatalities occur during the maneuvering phase of flight. Of those accidents, half involve stall/spin scenarios.

Stay safe! Thisseries will show you how you can incorporate safety into every flight.

Plenty of Sources

You may think you have more than enough weather information, but having that information available is just part of your decision-making equation.

You need to know how to acquire, interpret and make operational decisions based on that information.

Study and Evaluate

Getting weather information is only the first step. Its important that you study and evaluate the information to understand what it means.

The knowledge tests for most pilot certificates include questions on weather theory and use of weather products in aviation. However, it takes continuous study and experience to develop your skill in evaluating and applying weather data to a specific flight.

You might find it helpful to approach the task of practical, real world weather analysis with several basic concepts in mind.

The three basic elements of weather are:

  • Temperature (warm or cold)
  • Wind (a vector with speed and direction)
  • Moisture (or humidity)

Temperature, wind, and moisture combine to varying degrees to create conditions that affect pilots.

The range of possible combinations is nearly infinite, but weather primarily affects pilots in three ways:

  • visibility
  • turbulence
  • effects on aircraft performance

How Will the Weather Affect You?

One approach to practical weather analysis is to review weather data in terms of how current and forecast conditions will affect visibility, turbulence, and aircraft performance for your specific flight.

Suppose you want to make a flight from Cincinnati Municipal Airport (KLUK) to Ohio State University Airport in Columbus, Ohio (KCMH). You want to depart KLUK around 1830Z and fly VFR at 5,500 MSL. Your estimated time enroute is approximately one hour.

  • Your first step is to look at your weather data in terms of the ways in which weather can affect your flight: turbulence, visibility, and aircraft performance. Organize the information into a format that works for you, and then make the decision. Make an honest evaluation of whether your skill and/or aircraft capability are up to the challenge posed by this particular set of weather conditions.

It is very important to consider whether the combined pilot-aircraft team is sufficient.

  • For example, you may be a very experienced, proficient, and current pilot, but your weather flying ability is still limited if you are flying an older aircraft with no weather avoidance technology.
  • On the other hand, you may have a new aircraft with all the bells and whistles, but if you dont have much weather flying experience, the aircraft cant compensate for your own lack of experience.
  • You must also ensure that you are fully proficient in the use of onboard equipment, and that it is functioning properly.
  • One way to self-check your decision (regardless of your experience) is to ask yourself if the flight has any chance of appearing in the next days newspaper. If the result of the evaluation process leaves you in any doubt, then you need to develop safe alternatives.

Think of the preflight weather plan as a strategic, big picture exercise. The goal is to ensure that you have identified all the weather-related hazards for this particular flight, and planned for ways to eliminate or mitigate each one.

  • Escape Options: Know where you can find good weather within your aircrafts range and endurance capability. Where is it? Which direction do you turn to get there? How long will it take to get there?
  • When the weather is instrument meteorological conditions (ceiling 1,000 feet or less and visibility 3 nm or less), identify an acceptable alternative airport for each 25-30 nm segment of your route.
  • Reserve Fuel: Knowing where to find visual flight rules weather does you no good unless you have enough fuel to reach it. Flight planning for only a legal fuel reserve could significantly limit your options if the weather deteriorates.
  • More fuel means access to more alternatives. Having plenty of fuel also spares you the worry (and distraction) of fearing fuel exhaustion when weather has already increased your cockpit workload.
  • Terrain Avoidance: Know how low you can go without encountering terrain and/or obstacles. Consider a terrain avoidance plan for any flight.

Finally, fly regularly with a certified flight instructor who will challenge you to review what you know, explore new horizons, and to always do your best.

Be sure to document your achievement in the WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program ( Its a great way to stay on top of your game and satisfy your flight review requirements.

More about Loss of Control

Contributing factors may include:

  • Poor judgment or aeronautical decision making
  • Failure to recognize an aerodynamic stall or spin and execute corrective action
  • Intentional failure to comply with regulations
  • Failure to maintain airspeed
  • Failure to follow procedure
  • Pilot inexperience and proficiency
  • Use of prohibited or over-the-counter drugs, illegal drugs, or alcohol

Did you know?

  • From October 2017 through September 2018, 382 people died in 226 general aviation accidents.
  • Loss of Control was the number one cause of these accidents.
  • Loss of Control happens in all phases of flight.It can happen anywhere and at any time.
  • There is one fatal accident involving Loss of Control every four days.

Learn more:

Check out this Pilots Guide for Aviation Weather from the National Weather Service.

This FAA Safety Guide will give you what you need to know about weather briefings and decision-making.

AOPA has a number of helpful weather resources, which you can find here.

Whats coming for the future? Learn about the benefits NextGen is bringing here.

Time is getting short!! The FAAs Equip ADS-B website gives you the information you need to equip now.

Curious about FAA regulations (Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations)? Its a good idea to stay on top of them. You can find current FAA regulations on this website.

TheFAASafety.govwebsite has Notices, FAAST Blasts, online courses, webinars, and more on key general aviation safety topics.

TheWINGS Pilot Proficiency Programhelps pilots build an educational curriculum suitable for their unique flight requirements. It is based on the premise that pilots who maintain currency and proficiency in the basics of flight will enjoy a safer and more stress-free flying experience.

TheGeneral Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC)is comprised of government and industry experts who work together to use data to identify risk, pinpoint trends through root cause analysis, and develop safety strategies to reduce the risk of GA accidents. The GAJSC combines the expertise of many key decision makers in the FAA, several government agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and stakeholder groups. Industry participants include the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, National Business Aviation Association, National Air Transportation Association, National Association of Flight Instructors, Society of Aviation and Flight Educators, and the aviation insurance industry. The National Transportation Safety Board and the European Aviation Safety Agency participate as observers.

August 08, 2019 at 08:11PM News and Updates

Redesigned B4UFLY App Available Now:

Today, the FAA in partnership with Kittyhawk relaunched its B4UFLY mobile application that allows recreational drone flyers know where they can and cannot fly in the national airspace system (NAS). The new B4UFLY app is now available to download for free at theApp Storefor iOS andGoogle Play storefor Android.

As we continue our efforts to safely integrate drones into the NAS, working with our industry partners to provide innovative technology is critical, said FAA Acting Administrator Dan Elwell. The B4UFLY app is another tool the FAA can provide recreational drone flyers to help them fly safely and responsibly.

Some of the key features users can expect include:

  • A clear “status” indicator that informs the operator whether it is safe to fly or not. (For example, it shows flying in the Special Flight Rules Area around Washington, D.C. is prohibited.)
  • Informative, interactive maps with filtering options.
  • Information about controlled airspace, special use airspace, critical infrastructure, airports, national parks, military training routes and temporary flight restrictions.
  • A link to LAANC, the FAAs Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability, to obtain authorization to fly in controlled airspace.
  • The ability to check whether it is safe to fly in different locations by searching for a location or moving the location pin.
  • Links to other FAA drone resources and regulatory information.

The app provides situational awareness to recreational flyers and other drone users. It does not allow users to obtain airspace authorizations to fly in controlled airspace, which are only available through LAANC.

For more information, view B4UFLY.

July 31, 2019 at 11:34PM News and Updates

FAA to Further Expand Opportunities for Safe Drone Operations:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) beginning on July 23 will expand the Low Altitude Authorization and Capability (LAANC) system to include recreational flyers. This action will significantly increase the ability of drone pilots to gain access to controlled airspace nationwide.

LAANC, a collaboration between the FAA and industry that directly supports the safe integration ofUnmanned Aircraft Systems into the nation’s airspace, expedites the time it takes for a drone pilot to receive authorization to fly under 400 feet in controlled airspace.

LAANC provides air traffic professionals with visibility into where and when authorized drones are flying near airports and helps ensure that everyone can safely operate within the airspace. The expansion meansthe FAA has further increased drone pilots access to controlled airspace safely and efficiently.

LAANC capability is accessible to all pilots who operate under theFAAs small drone rule(Part 107).

For updates to LAANC capabilities, visit

July 23, 2019 at 05:20PM News and Updates