Earlier this week, the FAA issued its Updated Interim Occupational Health and Safety Guidance for Air Carriers and Crews.  The updated Guidance continues to urge that crewmembers who exhibit any symptoms of COVID-19 cease work, and only return after they meet the CDC’s criteria for Discontinuation of Isolation for Persons with COVID-19 Not in Healthcare Settings.  Similarly, the FAA also recommends that crewmembers with known exposure to COVID-19 not work until 14 days after the last potential exposure.… Read More

Back in 2018, the Congress tasked the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) with studying the role that state and local governments should play in the regulation of unmanned aircraft and the lower levels of the National Airspace System.  After nearly two years of work, the GAO has finally issued its report.  The report contains a compilation of the current state of the law regarding privacy, federal preemption, property owners’ rights in the airspace over their land, and related topics, and is supported by a detailed 143-page appendix. … Read More

In a long awaited move, the interagency working group responsible for coordinating drone defense policy has issued guidance to the public about what they can and cannot do to combat unauthorized drone use.  The guidance, issued jointly by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), covers the application of federal criminal laws, aviation safety laws, transportation and airport security laws, and radio frequency and communication spectrum issues to drone defense.… Read More

A growing number of nations have been successfully, but slowly, pushing both the technological and regulatory boundaries of advanced UAS operations.  These national pilot programs have taken the first steps towards beyond visual line of sight operations, package delivery and flight over people.  However, as Earl Lawrence confirmed at the AUVSI/FAA symposium the other day, the key to turning these complex operations into routine operations is a certificated unmanned aircraft.… Read More

One of the great innovations of the Part 107 regulations for unmanned aircraft was the ability to obtain a waiver from many of its more restrictive requirements.  The Part 107 waiver process allows operators the flexibility to fly at night, fly beyond visual line of sight, or operate more than one drone at the same time.

Unfortunately, most waivers have an expiration date of 48 months. … Read More

While many states are currently “open for business” to one degree or another, COVID-19 has stubbornly refused to release its hold in some areas.  As a result, while progress is being made, we clearly are not “back to normal.”

In light of this, government agencies that relaxed regulatory requirements at the beginning of the crisis, including the FAA, are beginning to extend these accommodations. … Read More

Join us on February 2-4, 2021

Our last major aviation industry event before the COVID-19 lockdown was the 2020 Aviation Symposium. As the country begins to reopen, it is likely that our first event will be the 2021 Aviation Symposium.

Impacted suddenly by unprecedented change and now on the road to recovery, the aviation industry has faced a monumental year in 2020.

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In the age of COVID-19, there is a renewed interest in the principles of federalism and the limits of federal power, including the power of the Federal Aviation Administration.  More and more, commentators and legislators are arguing that the FAA should not be the sole arbiter of how the national airspace is used, particularly below 400 feet.

This is, of course, a faulty premise upon which to build an argument. … Read More

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to establish the standards for remote identification of unmanned aircraft closed on March 2, 2020.  The NPRM garnered over 53,000 comments, both pro and con, concerning the contours of the final rule.  While there is still no official word on what the final rule will look like, FAA actions seem to confirm that the final rule will look a lot like the draft rule.… Read More

The aviation industry, like the rest of America, is gearing up for the reopening of America for business.  As we do so, it is important to keep on top of the latest recommended “best practices” necessary to keep the COVID-19 virus from rebounding.  Unfortunately, finding these resources can sometimes be difficult.

We at Plane-ly Spoken are here to help.  The following is our collection of links, arranged by topic and government agency, of aviation industry related COVID-19 guidance.… Read More