Avionics News December 2014 - 29
AEA member Bryan Archer with UAS Super Bat before
a search and rescue ﬂight in Texas.
systems for ongoing scientific research and
environmental monitoring under tightly controlled
conditions. Firefighters and law enforcement deploy
unmanned aircraft systems during emergencies
with permission from the Federal Aviation
Administration. Companies and organizations want
the ability to freely operate unmanned aircraft
systems for charitable and commercial activities
without having to request special permission.
Federal regulations currently prohibit most
nonmilitary unmanned aircraft systems in U.S.
airspace. Users must obtain permission via a
certificate of authorization in order to operate. Due
to the popularity of the systems and potential to
save lives and aid research and law enforcement,
Congress mandated that the FAA develop a plan
to safely integrate unmanned aircraft systems into
the national airspace by September 2015. In less
than a year, the industry should have some solid
REACHING MAJOR MILESTONES
While we wait, nonprofits, businesses,
filmmakers and media outlets press the issue
forward by petitioning the FAA, going to court and
filing appeals. They've had some success. When a
woman went missing near Dallas, Texas, the FAA
granted a four-day certificate of authorization to
the National Institute of Standards and Technology
to fly a UAS in support of Texas EquuSearch, an
all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that assists in
locating missing individuals.
"We hit a major milestone in September," said
Bryan Archer, president of Frisco, Texas-based
Galaxy Aviation Inc., an FAA-certified repair station
and Aircraft Electronics Association member. "It was
the first time the FAA granted a nongovernmental
entity permission to operate a UAS."
Continued on following page