During the summer and into the fall of 2016 there have been significant developments in the world of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).
Operation & Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Rule
In late August 2016 the “Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Rule (Small UAS Rule)” became Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) 105.
This regulation marks a major step in the Federal Aviation Association’s (FAA) roadmap for integrating UAS into the National Airspace System (NAS) and has an impact on Watsonville Municipal Airport and the local community.
Per regulation effective immediately UAS operators will no longer be required to notify or in any way coordinate with airport operators when operating near non-towered airports within Class G (Golf) airspace.
In Watsonville Municipal’s case Class G airspace extends from the surface to 700 feet Above Ground Level (AGL).
UAS Pilot License
Other key provisions require FAR Part 107 operators to obtain a “UAS Pilot’s license” by passing an aeronautical knowledge test and be vetted by TSA.
Operating Altitude Restrictions
Additionally the operating altitude will be restricted to 400 feet AGL with a speed limit of 100 mph, during daylight hours. In all instances operations must be within visual line of sight of the operator. Municipal Airport requests all Operators within a five mile radius continue to complete the drone Operation Form listed below.
Continued Support Appreciated
Collecting UAS (Drone) operational data within our aerodrome is an important element in airport planning and analysis. Continued support from UAS Operators is appreciated.