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Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

FAA Section 333 Exemption and COA Processing
- Everything you need and more to Fly legally with the FAA. 

Text of Section 333


(a) IN GENERAL. – Notwithstanding any other requirement of this subtitle, and not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall determine if certain unmanned aircraft systems may operate safely in the national airspace system before completion of the plan and rule-making required by section 332 of this Act or the guidance required by section 334 of this

(b) ASSESSMENT OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS.- In making the determination under subsection (a), the Secretary shall determine, at a minimum.

(c) systems, if any, as a result of their size, weight, speed, operational capacity, proximity to airports and populated areas, and operation within visual line of sight do not create a hazard to users of the national airspace system or the public or pose a threat to national security; and

          (1) whether a certificate of waiver, certificate of authorization, or airworthiness certification under section 44704 of title 49, United States Code, is required for the operation of unmanned aircraft systems identified under paragraph.

REQUIREMENTS FOR SAFE OPERATION. - If the Secretary determines under this section that certain unmanned aircraft systems may operate safely in the national airspace system, the Secretary shall establish requirements for the safe operation of such aircraft systems in the national airspace system

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration granted eight more companies regulatory exemptions for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) use, bringing the total number of exemption grants to 24.

The FAA Modernization and Reform  Act of 2012, Pub. L. 112-95, tasked the FAA to develop rules to integrate UAS into the NAS. Until those rules are finalized, the FAA has banned commercial UAS use.

The FAA has listed three exemptions for civilian commercial use:

  • Section 333 exemption petitions;
  • Special Airworthiness Certificates
  • Experimental Category (SACEC);
  • Certificates of Waiver or Authorization (COA).

While the FAA identified four industries – movies, flare stack (oil/gas) monitoring, precision agriculture (both surveillance of crops/livestock and the Economic Impact of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the United application of fertilizer/pesticides) and power line inspections - expected to take advantage of Section 333, the Drone/Unmanned Aircraft Systems Practice Group anticipates many other uses for this technology, ranging from photography to real estate to performance art – we know that the sky is truly the limit!

According to the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), over 80% of UAS sales will be in the precision agricultural sector. However, to date, nearly 40% of petitions are for motion picture companies, and only three petitions are from the
precision agriculture industry.

Whether you are jump starting your photography career or looking to change the world with your new methods of farm surveying - you need to make sure you follow the FAA laws regarding the commercial operation of drones.

If you are operating a drone (UAS) for commercial applications without a FAA Section 333 Exemption - You can be fined $10,000+ by the FAA!

So don't take the risk! File your Section 333 Exemption today!

To legally fly a UAS for commercial use you must first request exemption from multiple regulations under Section 333 of the FAA code. We have the Right Team To Get The Job Done!


Section 333 Exemption and COA Processing

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