Flare Stack Inspection Among FAA's Latest Drone Approvals

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx found that these proposed operations did not need an FAA-issued certificate of airworthiness because they don't pose a threat to national airspace users or national security.

The Federal Aviation Administration's 15th and 16th exemptions given to applicants seeking to use drones commercially were announced Jan. 23. They went to AeroCine, LLC for TV and film aerial cinematography, and to Burnz Eye View, Inc. for aerial photography and inspections, including flare stack inspections, according to the federal agency.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx found that these proposed operations did not need an FAA-issued certificate of airworthiness because they don't pose a threat to national airspace users or national security.

"Those findings are permitted under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012," according to FAA's news release. "In granting the exemptions, the FAA considered the planned operating environments and required certain conditions and limitations to assure the safe operation of these UAS in the National Airspace System. For example, operations require both a pilot and observer, the pilot must have at least an FAA Private Pilot certificate and a current medical certificate, and the UAS must remain within line of sight at all times."

As of Jan. 23, FAA had received 295 requests for exemptions from commercial organizations.

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