COA: Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the pertinent regulations and documents for operating an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)?
There are several regulations and documents that can help you with operating UAS:
- What is the difference between an Unmanned Aircraft (UA), a Remotely Operated Aircraft (ROA), and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)?
ROA and UAV were terms previously used to identify unmanned aircraft. Currently the FAA and most of the international community uses the term “UAS.”
- Can a civilian company operate an UAS as part of a business?
Currently, civilian companies may not operate a UAS as part of a business without obtaining a Special Airworthiness Certificate - Experimental Category (SAC-EC). However, this SAC-EC is very limited in scope of operational use. Contact FAA for details or see FAA Order 8130.34.
- Who can receive a COA to fly a UA in the NAS?
Only public agencies operating an unmanned aircraft.
- What is a “Public Agency?”
Any agency that operates a public aircraft (14 CFR Part 1.1). If you receive funding from the federal government at some level, you are probably a “Public Agency.” A public agency can never operate under the guidelines of Advisory Circular 91-57 (Model Aircraft Operating Standards).