Due to the high volume of Section 333 petitions received, we are experiencing delays in processing petitions. We will do our best to process petitions being posted to the docket as soon as possible, and in the order they were received. We appreciate your patience as we work diligently to process your request.

Number of Petitions Granted / Closed
Petitions Granted Petitions Closed
1,517

By law, any aircraft operation in the national airspace requires a certificated and registered aircraft, a licensed pilot, and operational approval. Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA) (PDF) grants the Secretary of Transportation the authority to determine whether an airworthiness certificate is required for a UAS to operate safely in the National Airspace System (NAS).

This authority is being leveraged to grant case-by-case authorization for certain unmanned aircraft to perform commercial operations prior to the finalization of the Small UAS Rule, which will be the primary method for authorizing small UAS operations once it is complete.

The Section 333 Exemption process provides operators who wish to pursue safe and legal entry into the NAS a competitive advantage in the UAS marketplace, thus discouraging illegal operations and improving safety. It is anticipated that this activity will result in significant economic benefits, and the FAA Administrator has identified this as a high priority project to address demand for civil operation of UAS for commercial purposes.

Read the Section 333 FAQs for answers to common questions. Questions about the Section 333 process should be directed to 333exemptions@faa.gov.