FAA Waivers Can Help During COVID-19 Pandemic
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been granting drone flight waivers for certain restricted flights to help during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the FAA says that it is unlikely the waivers will extend beyond current stay-at-home restrictions. Thus far, the FAA has been granting waivers for companies using drones to deliver food and supplies in certain parts of the country in order to enable people to stay home while still being able to get the things they need. These approvals have been granted under the Part 107 (Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Rule), Special Government Interest Approval (e.g., a public safety aircraft), Part 137 Certification (i.e., agricultural aircraft operations) and Part 135 Certification (i.e., package delivery and beyond visual line of sight). As we look ahead, whether the FAA will continue to grant waivers as readily as they are in the current landscape is unknown.