The NBAA in the United States, along with other aviation associations, has requested the FAA to extend the comment period for the recently published Docket No. FAA-2023-1256, UAS Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS), and related petitions for exemption.
The FAA allowed only 20 days for public comment to this docket and four petitions for exemption.
“We fully support the FAA’s efforts to develop a system that will enable these aircraft to safely enter and operate in the existing aviation structure. As our efforts in the past have shown, only through well-thought, safety-driven processes, standards, and rules will we be able to succeed,” the associations said.
The petitions for exemption include:
- FAA-2022-0921: Summary Notice No. -2022-42 Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; uAvionix Corp.
- FAA-2020-0499; Summary Notice No. -2023-09 Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Zipline, Inc.
- FAA-2022-0124; Summary Notice No. -2023-19; Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Phoenix Air Unmanned, LLC.
- FAA-2019-0628; Summary Notice No. – 2023-06; Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; UPS Flight Forward, Inc.
“The FAA posed a number of significant questions and supporting data. While the industry appreciates the FAA’s efforts to advance BVLOS operations in the very near term, the industry simply needs more than 20 days to provide meaningful comments to help drive an effective rule,” said Heidi Williams, NBAA’s senior director, air traffic services and infrastructure.
The letter requests an additional 40 days for a total of 60 days for stakeholders to develop appropriate comments and provide collaborative data.
“We greatly value all opportunities for industry-agency collaboration, as we all work to develop viable solutions to achieve safe and effective BLVOS standards,” the letter added.
“Granting this tailored and specific extension will not violate any legislative or executive requirement, nor create unnecessary risk to the public or National Airspace System.”
Also signing on to the request are the Airborne Public Safety Association, Aircraft Electronics Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Air Line Pilots Association International, Balloon Federation of America, Experimental Aircraft Association, Helicopter Association International, National Agricultural Aviation Association and National Air Transportation Association.