FAA Announces UAS Test Site Operators

After a rigorous 10-month selection process involving 25 proposals from 24 states, the Federal Aviation Administration has chosen six unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) research and test site operators across the country. In selecting the six test site operators, the FAA considered geography, climate, location of ground infrastructure, research needs, airspace use, safety, aviation experience and risk. In totality, these six test applications achieve cross-country geographic and climatic diversity and help the FAA meet its UAS research needs.

Center of Excellence Public Meeting

The FAA will hold a public meeting on May 28, 2014 in Washington, D.C. to discuss the agency's plans to establish a new unmanned aircraft system (UAS) center of excellence (COE).

UAS Roadmap

The first annual UAS Roadmap addresses current and future policies, regulations, technologies and procedures that will be required as UAS operations increase in the nation's airspace.

Comprehensive Plan

The Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO) has developed a comprehensive plan to safely accelerate the integration of civil UAS into the national airspace system.

Final FAA Privacy Policy for UAS Test Sites

In connection with the UAS Test Site selection, the FAA is sending a final privacy policy to the Federal Register that requires test site operators to comply with federal, state, and other laws on individual privacy protection, and take other measures related to privacy.

Online Session on UAS Test Site Privacy Policy

The FAA held an online public engagement session on Wednesday, April 3 from 12 noon to 2 p.m. EDT to provide the public with an opportunity to comment on the agency's proposed privacy policy for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). The FAA provided a brief overview of the UAS test site program and proposed privacy policy and then took comments from participants. Each participant had three minutes for comments. The FAA continues to encourage the public to provide comments to the docket. The FAA listened and recorded all comments, but did not answer any questions during the session.

The FAA anticipates that test site operator privacy practices will help inform the dialogue among policymakers, privacy advocates, and the industry on broader questions about the use of UAS technologies. The privacy requirements the FAA has proposed are specifically designed for the operation of the UAS test sites. They are not intended to pre-determine the long-term policy and regulatory framework under which commercial UASs would operate. Rather, they aim to assure maximum transparency of privacy policies associated with UAS test site operations in order to engage all stakeholders in discussion about which privacy issues are raised by UAS operations and how law, public policy, and the industry practices should respond to those issues in the long run.

> FAA UAS Online Listening Session – Audio (WMV) /Transcript (PDF)

FAA Makes Progress with UAS Integration

The FAA has achieved the first unmanned aircraft systems milestone included in the 2012 FAA reauthorization – streamlining the process for public agencies to safely fly UAS in the nation's airspace.

Map Showing State Distribution of UAS Test Site Proposals Across the Nation

The applicants are all public organizations, but private companies may be part of an applicant's team. The FAA cannot provide applicant names and numbers by state during the procurement process.

Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Test Site Selection Process Commences February 14, 2013 – The FAA has released a Screening Information Request (SIR) on the FAA Contracting Opportunities website which commences the selection process for six UAS Test Sites as required by the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. In conjunction with the UAS SIR release, the FAA will also publish a Request for Comments (RFC) in the Federal Register to solicit public input for the development of a privacy approach as it relates to the operation of the UAS Test Sites. It is expected that this Federal Register posting (FAA-2013-0061) will follow the SIR release by a few days.

Below are links to the FAA Contracting Opportunities site and an advance copy of the Federal Register RFC posting.

Certification of Authorization (COA) Sponsors

NOTE: For best results, "EXTRACT" all Zip files to your computer or other device before attempting to open any individual file.

February 11, 2014 – In response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the FAA is releasing specific Certificate of Authorization (COA) information that is not subject to FOIA exemptions. The file below contains information for 55 COAs.

November 22, 2013 – In response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the FAA is releasing specific Certificate of Authorization (COA) information that is not subject to FOIA exemptions. The file below contains information for 28 COAs.

November 13, 2013 – In response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the FAA is releasing specific Certificate of Authorization (COA) information that is not subject to FOIA exemptions. The file below contains information for 48 COAs.

August 29, 2013 – In response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the FAA is releasing specific Certificate of Authorization (COA) information that is not subject to FOIA exemptions. The file below contains information for 17 COAs.

June 20, 2013 – In response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the FAA is releasing specific Certificate of Authorization (COA) information that is not subject to FOIA exemptions. The file below contains information for 9 COAs.

April 18, 2013 – In response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the FAA is releasing specific Certificate of Authorization (COA) information that is not subject to FOIA exemptions. The file below contains information for 10 COAs. None of the COAs are currently active.

February 12, 2013 – In response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the FAA is releasing specific Certificate of Authorization (COA) information that is not subject to FOIA exemptions. The file below contains information for 24 COAs. None of the COAs are currently active.

December 4, 2012 – In response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the FAA is releasing specific Certificate of Authorization (COA) information that is not subject to FOIA exemptions. The file below contains information for 19 COAs. None of the COAs are currently active.

November 7, 2012 – In response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the FAA is releasing specific Certificate of Authorization (COA) information that is not subject to FOIA exemptions. The file below contains information for 107 COAs. Two of the COAs are currently active.

September 21, 2012 – In response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the FAA is releasing specific Certificate of Authorization (COA) information that is not subject to FOIA exemptions. The file below contains information for 122 COAs. Twenty-three of the COAs are currently active.

August 15, 2012 – In response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the FAA is releasing specific Certificate of Authorization (COA) information that is not subject to FOIA exemptions. The file below contains information for 17 COAs. One of the COAs is currently active.

July 12, 2012 – In response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the FAA is releasing specific Certificate of Authorization (COA) information that is not subject to FOIA exemptions. The file below contains information for 125 COAs. Eight of the COAs are currently active.

April 26, 2012 – The following federal, state, or local agencies currently hold or have held a certificate of authorization to operate an unmanned aircraft system between November 2006 and June 30, 2011:

Webinars on FAA's Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Test Site Request for Comments

April 25, 2012 – The FAA hosted two identical webinars on UAS Test Sites on April 10 and
April 11, 2012. FAA officials answered online and phone questions from nearly 500 participants on the Request for Comments published in the Federal Register on March 9, 2012. The comment period closed May 8, 2012.

(UAS) Test Site Selection

March 7, 2012 – The FAA is asking for the public's input on our selection process for six UAS test sites. Your feedback will help us develop UAS test site requirements, designation standards and oversight activity, as well as provide valuable experience to help us safely and efficiently integrate UASs into the same airspace with manned airplanes. For more information, see below:

General Information about UASs

Unmanned Aircraft Systems — previously referred to as "unmanned aerial vehicles", "UAVs", "remotely operated aircraft/vehicles", or just "unmanned aircraft" — come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and serve diverse purposes. They may have a wingspan as large as a Boeing 737 or smaller than a radio-controlled model airplane. UAS operations always have a pilot in command who is flying the aircraft. Read more of the Fact Sheet – Unmanned Aircraft Systems.