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Part 107 vs. COA for Public Safety

April 11, 2017

 

Contrary to popular belief, the Part 107 rules released by the FAA on June 21, 2016 do not give fire departments, search and rescue organizations, and law enforcement agencies the freedom of operation necessary to have the most effective UAV program. While public safety agencies CAN choose to allow their operator(s) to fly under the Part 107 framework, the FAA COA (Certificate of Authorization) allows departments to get the most from their drone program. 

 

In addition, many insurers and departmental risk managers will still require a department go through the FAA COA process instead of allowing UAV operations under Part 107.

 

Before making the Part 107 vs. COA decision for your department, you should familiarize yourself with rules for each designation:

 

 

WHAT'S ALLOWED UNDER PART 107 CIVIL AIRCRAFT RULES:

 

-Categorized as "Civil Aircraft Operations" (not public safety)

- Liability/responsibility may fall on individual pilot

-Allows for daytime flight ONLY, without a special waiver

-Must get permission to fly in B, C, D and E airspace for each flight - a significant issue for most major metro areas

-Allows for operation under 400' AGL (Above Ground Level)

-Allows for operation within visual line of sight for the operator

 

TRAINING/APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR PART 107:

-Pilot(s) must pass "Remote Pilot in Charge" airman knowledge test every 2 years

 

 

 

WHAT'S ALLOWED UNDER PUBLIC AIRCRAFT COA (CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORIZATION) RULES:

 

-Categorized as "Public Aircraft Operations"

-Liability/responsibility falls on agency

-Allows for nighttime flight with permission

-Allows for pre-approval to fly in B, C, D and E airspace

-Allows for operation under 400' AGL (Above Ground Level)

-Allows for operation within visual line of sight of the operator

 

TRAINING/APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR YOUR COA:

 

-Public Declaration Letter (Letter to FAA certifying public status)

-Self-certify that pilots have completed training

-Self-certify that pilots are medically fit to fly

-Documents, policies, and procedures furnished to the FAA by department or consulting company

 

 

Our Skyfire Consulting division is proud to get more public safety organizations set up with their own in-house drone program than anyone else in the country. Please don't hesitate to contact us for more important Part 107 vs. COA information as you decide which route is best for your department. We're here to help!

 

 

 

 

 

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