Drone Alphabet Soup: Decoding Drones

Drone Documentation

Jon W. Adams, Director of Architectural and Heritage Services ::::

FAA. NAS. UAS. PIC. VO. 14 CFR Part 107. Confused? You may be… unless you’ve been dabbling in drone flight, and the associated regulations which govern the use of drones.

Below, I will briefly cover a few of these items, which I hope will help in learning more about drones and how they operate in the airspace above the United States.

FAA – Federal Aviation Administration
This is the national authority which regulates all aspects of civil aviation, including air traffic control, certification of personnel and aircraft, and others.

NAS – National Airspace System
The airspace above the Unites States, which is broken down into specific classes: A, B, C, D, E, and G. Legal drone flight is only permitted in class G airspace, unless special permission is granted by the FAA.

UAS – Unmanned Aerial System
Technical name for a “drone”, an aircraft without a human pilot aboard. Also referred to as UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle).

PIC – Pilot in Command, or Remote Pilot in Command
This is the person who is controlling the flight of a drone. A person can only be Remote Pilot in Command if they have passed the FAA’s Aeronautical Knowledge Test.

VO – Visual Observer

A person who assists the Remote Pilot in Command (can also be the Remote Pilot in Command) who maintains visual line-of-sight with a drone while it is in flight. FAA regulations state that drone operations cannot extend beyond visual line-of-sight, unless special permission is granted.

14 CFR Part 107 – Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 107
This small part of FAA regulations lays out the operating and certification requirements that allow drones to operate for commercial or non-recreational uses.

Still confused and have questions? Feel free to email me at experts@forensicDJS.com.

Jon W. Adams is the Director of Architectural and Heritage Services at DJS Associates and can be reached via email at experts@forensicDJS.com or via phone at 215-659-2010.

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