National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Drones

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was signed into law on January 1, 1970 and requires the FAA to ensure that environmental considerations are factored into its decision-making process. NEPA reviews must be completed for actions that could cause reasonably foreseeable effects on the human environment, whether the actions are taken by the agency itself, or the actions are taken by airspace users seeking FAA authorization.

The NEPA process ensures that:

  • FAA decision makers understand the potential environmental impacts of proposed authorizations;
  • FAA fully discloses the potential impacts to the human environment from the proposed activities; and
  • FAA evaluates the reasonable alternatives to the proposed activities.

The FAA is conducting NEPA reviews for advanced drone operations that are being proposed to the FAA for authorization.

Completed Records of Decision

Last updated: Tuesday, January 2, 2024