Editorial Update: Since this article was published, the FAA announced on April 29th, 2020, that it will be publishing a SFAR to help those parts of the aviation industry affecteed by COVID-19. The current draft states: “Under the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak, eligible remote pilots who would normally establish recency of knowledge in accordance with §107.65(a) or (b) may complete online training as an alternative if required to establish recency between April 2020 and June 2020. The remote pilot may complete the FAA-developed initial or recurrent online training courses at www.faasafety.gov one time to establish knowledge recency for six calendar months.” The official version of this document is set to be released May 4th, 2020.
Among the growing list of companies and government agencies affected by the nation-wide shelter-in-place orders are Part 107 testing sites. Andrew Elefant, Director of Legal and Policy at Kittyhawk, just released a blog post outlining what these site closures mean for the industry. Commercial UAV News caught up with Elefant to discuss in more detail how it will impact the industry in terms of compliance and new pilots entering the workforce, what businesses can do to keep their essential non-current drone pilots involved in critical missions while keeping within Part 107 regulations, the consequences of non-compliance, and more.
For those who are affected by test site closings and want to stay on top of how this issue evolves, here are some resources you can check:
Follow Kittyhawk or Elefant on Twitter @kittyhawkio or @uavpolicy
Follow the FAA on Twitter, @FAAnews or find them on Facebook or LinkedIn