4.15 Unmanned Aircraft Systems

The use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) is rapidly growing. UAS can have a positive impact, as a potential tool, and a negative impact, if they conflict with manned aircraft, on small airports. It is important for airports to know the UAS regulations and engage with the community to educate them about the airport and the areas that should be kept clear of UAS.

ACRP Legal Research Digest 32: Evolving Law on Airport Implications by Unmanned Aerial Systems
Provides guidance to enhance understanding of the basic legal and operational issues presented by civil unmanned aerial systems and evaluates best practices for managing these issues. The digest covers background on unmanned aerial system uses, applications, regulations, and definitions; operations within the National Airspace System (NAS); the issues of federalism as it relates to local and state laws; tort law implications; operations at airports; and best practices for airport operators.

ACRP Report 144: Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) at Airports: A Primer
Provides airports of all sizes with information about UAS and their potential use and impact on airports. The report includes a glossary of key terms, a background on the current state of UAS operations, UAS costs and benefits to airports, regulatory and community considerations, UAS infrastructure and operational considerations, UAS safety and security issues, and more.

B4UFLY General Questions and Answers
Provides answers to a list of general questions about the FAA app, B4UFLY. The app makes operators aware of where they should and should not fly and where there may be conflicts. B4UFLY displays active temporary flight restrictions. B4UFLY is geared toward recreational pilots, but commercial operators may also find it useful.

FAA UAS Operation Waiver Request
Provides guidance on how to request a FAR Part 107 Waiver for Operation in Controlled Airspace

FAA UAS Registration
Allows registering small UAS (0.55 to 55.0 pounds) with the FAA and/or updating a registration.

FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, Section 333
Grants the FAA the authority to determine and grant UAS operators the authorization to operate in the NAS, subject to certain restrictions and requirements. While superseded by FAR Part 107, Section 333 is still applicable for some types of UAS operations.

FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Assists operators of UAS in understanding the requirements to operate in the NAS.

Flight Service
Provides information on flight service.

FAR Part 107: Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Provides rules on registration, airman certification, and operation of civil small UAS within the United States.

Managing Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the Vicinity of Airports
Provides guidance for airport operators and managers to manage UAS operations and related activities in and around airports.  This document explores how some airports are already taking actions to better understand and tackle the challenges associated with managing UAS at their airports and highlights their varying degrees of success.