News and Updates – Think Safety First on July 4th

As you celebrate the Independence Day holiday, keep safety in mind. Know the aviation safety rules while flying your drones and celebrating the 4th.

Here are general guidelines for people flying drones:

  • Dont fly your drone in or near fireworks
  • Dont fly over people
  • Dont fly near airports

To learn more about what you can and cant do with your drone, go to or download the B4UFLY app for free in the Apple and Google Play store.

There are also strict rules prohibiting airline passengers from packing or carrying fireworks on domestic or international flights. Remember these simple rules:

  • Dont pack fireworks in your carry-on bags
  • Dont pack fireworks in your checked luggage
  • Dont send fireworks through the mail or parcel services

Passengers violating the rules can face fines or criminal prosecution. When in DoubtLeave it out!

For more information on the passenger rules for fireworks and other hazardous materials, please go to Leave the fireworks at homeFireworks Don’t Fly poster (PDF).

News and Updates – FAA-EC Pact Paves the Way for Lower Costs for U.S. Manufacturers.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Commission (EC) have signed a decision that will pave the way to lower fees that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) charges U.S. manufacturers to validate their design approvals.

The agreementcalled Bilateral Oversight Board Decision 0008 (BOB 0008)was formalized at the 17th Annual FAA-EASA International Safety Conference in Washington, DC.

The FAA and EASA have previously signed revisions to the Technical Implementation Procedures (TIP) to the U.S.-EU Aviation Safety Agreement that reduce the time and effort to validate design approvals. Following verification and confirmation, BOB 0008 allows further recognition of the reduced involvement of the validating authority and opens the door for lower fees charged by EASA. The agencies will also be able to approve basic aircraft type certifications with minimal scrutiny.

BOB8 is a further recognition that both the FAA and EASA fully subscribe to the philosophy that safety in todays global aviation market depends to a great extent on international partnerships between aviation regulators.

The FAA and EASA also expect to sign an update to the Validation Improvement Roadmap at the FAA-EASA Safety Conference. The roadmap helps guide further streamlining of validation approvals by allowing each side to optimize reliance on the others certification system and eliminate or reduce technical involvement.

News and Updates – FAA Establishes Drone Restrictions Over Federal Prison

At the request of Federal security partners, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been using its existing authority under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 99.7Special Security Instructionsto address concerns about drone operations over national security sensitive facilities by establishing temporary Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) specific flight restrictions.

In cooperation with Department of Justice (DOJ), the FAA is establishing an additional restriction on drone flights up to 400 feet within the lateral boundaries of the following federal facility:

  • Administrative United States Penitentiary Thomson near Clinton, IL

Information on the FAA Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), which defines these restrictions, and all of the currently covered DOJ locations, can be found by clicking here.To ensure the public is aware of these restricted locations, this FAA website also provides an interactive map, downloadable geospatial data, and other important details. A link to these restrictions is also included in the FAAs B4UFLY mobile app.

Additional, broader information regarding flying drones in the National Airspace System, including frequently asked questions, is available on the FAAs UAS website.

These changes, which have been highlighted by FAA NOTAM FDC 8/8243, are pending until they become effective on July 7, 2018. Note that there are only a few exceptions that permit drone flights within this restriction, and they must be coordinated with the individual facility and/or the FAA.




Operators who violate the flight restriction may be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges.

The FAA is continuing to consider additional requests by eligible federal security agencies for UAS-specific flight restrictions using the Agencys 99.7 authority as they are received. Additional changes to these restrictions will be announced by the FAA as appropriate.

News and Updates – FAA Commissions New Tower at Sarasota Airport

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) cut over to a new air traffic control tower at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport early this morning. The new, 128 foot-tall tower will enable air traffic controllers to continue to provide the safest, most efficient service to flights at the busy Florida airport.

Air traffic controllers working in the 525 square-foot tower cab control flights up to 4,000 feet in altitude within a five-mile radius of SRQ; from five to 10 miles from the airport, they handle flights from 1,200 to 4,000 feet in altitude.

A total of 34 FAA employees work at the new facility, 20 in air traffic and 14 in technical operations, which maintains the FAA electronics equipment in the tower and on the airfield.

The FAA and the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority (SMAA) built the new tower under a unique agreement. The FAA funded the new tower design, engineering and electronic equipment. Agency technicians and engineers installed the electronics and will maintain the equipment. SMAA funded, constructed and owns the new tower. SMAA will maintain the facility, which includes a 9,000 square foot base building that houses equipment, administrative offices and training rooms.

The FAA and SMAA officially will dedicate the new facility in mid-September.

Speech – A Shared Language

Acting Administrator Daniel Elwell
Washington, DC

Thank you, Eric. Good afternoon, everyone.

Its a real honor for the United States to be hosting this years FAA-EASA International Aviation Safety Conference. And I thank you all for joining us.

Its great to see so many of our international counterparts this week not only from Europe, but from around the world.

And having you all here I think speaks to the unique nature of the aviation industry.

Even at times when the geopolitical climate is tense when nations are more focused on differences than similarities the global aviation community comes together.

And its because, no matter where we hail from, we all share the same language.

The language of safety.

Aviation is the safest form of transportation in the world.

We say and hear those words all the time. But really think about it for a second.

Metal tubes, filled with some of the worlds most complex machinery, are hurtling through the air and navigating in three-dimensional space 35,000 feet above our heads right now.

Just figuring out how to do that was hard enough. Let alone to do it safely.

So howd we get here?

It comes down to a pretty simple idea. One that the entire aviation industry, from top to bottom, has embraced.

We dont compete on safety.

Conferences like this give us the opportunity to reaffirm that commitment. And its especially important to do so now.

The world and our industry are changing on an almost daily basis. That creates a lot of questions.

How do we safely integrate new users into our already busy airspace?

How do we harness technology to modernize the way we manage air traffic?

How do we maintain the safety of our system without stifling innovation?

These questions arent new. And theyre not unique to the United States. Were all grappling with them.

And if were going to find the right answers the best answers we need to continue building on the partnerships that have fueled so many of our successes to date.

That starts with how we integrate new users into our airspace.

This is an area where we can learn so much from each other. Unmanned aircraft and commercial space operations have truly captured the worlds imagination.

And as these industries grow, so do their airspace needs.

To help meet this increasing demand, the United States is embracing a flexible regulatory framework that can nimbly respond to innovation.

We were the first country to integrate commercial drone operations under specific conditions into complex airspace.

Now, were looking to go further.

I joined Secretary Chao last month to announce ten pilot program sites across the country where state, local, and tribal governments will be working with private industry to demonstrate and study expanded drone operations.

The information we gain from these trials will help us build out the regulatory framework for unmanned aircraft nationwide including operations over people and beyond visual line of sight.

Were also changing our approach to commercial space launches.

Its not enough to just accommodate this growing industry. We need to fully integrate it into our airspace.

Were looking at how new technologies like the Space Data Integrator can make launches less disruptive to nearby airspace users.

And were revamping our licensing processes to make it easier for commercial space operators to receive the approvals they need more quickly.

Of course, integrating new users into a system that already includes everything from jumbo jets to helicopters goes hand-in-hand with investing in modern air traffic systems that can manage it all.

This has been a priority on both sides of the Atlantic for many years now.

Here in the United States, were working closely with industry to prioritize our modernization efforts so that we can deliver concrete benefits to airlines, passengers, and businesses as quickly as possible.

In FAA facilities around the country, state-of-the-art computers are supporting new automation systems that make managing air traffic more efficient.

Weve deployed Data Communications technology nationwide to help pilots and controllers send messages to each other faster and more accurately.

Were using Performance Based Navigation to create more direct flight routes that save time and cut down on emissions.

And were about 18 months away from a deadline that will require all aircraft flying within controlled airspace to be equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast better known as ADS-B.

ADS-B uses GPS satellites to give air traffic controllers a more accurate picture of where an aircraft is at any given moment.

About 25 percent of the U.S. airline fleet has already equipped with ADS-B.

And were working closely with our international partners to make sure any aircraft that will be flying in U.S. airspace has equipment installed that complies with the mandate by January 1, 2020.

This is part of our larger harmonization efforts with the global community.

The United States signed a revised Memorandum of Cooperation with the European Union late last year. It expanded our collaboration on air traffic modernization to include deployment activities. This will support continued seamless transatlantic operations.

At the same time, we signed an amendment to the US-EU Safety Agreement that makes it easier to validate and import each others aircraft and aviation parts.

Thanks to the relationship weve built over the years, we have a high-degree of confidence in our respective certification systems.

This agreement acknowledges that. It opens up a way for the US and EU to collaborate on flight simulation training devices, as well as on pilot licensing and training.

And we continue to build on this work today.

The FAA and the European Commission amended their Safety Agreement this morning, and took the first step toward lowering validation fees for manufacturers.

This amendment will also help get products to market faster by reducing the involvement of validating authorities on both sides of the Atlantic.

These agreements are just the most recent examples of the value of the relationship between the United States and our European partners.

Weve been able to make tremendous safety gains in transatlantic operations by working together. And its essential we protect them as we look to the future.

That’s the message I’ll be taking to the United Kingdom when I visit the Farnborough Airshow next month.

Brexit and its March 2019 deadline is obviously on all of our minds.

And as the clock runs down, removing uncertainty about the UK and its aviation agreements with the rest of the world only becomes more important.

Brexit is going to affect passengers, businesses, and the entire global supply chain. But early planning can help mitigate those impacts.

So it’s in everyones best interest to reach a decision on the aviation components of Brexit as soon as possible.

Fortunately, weve been certificating aircraft for decades. We know what agreements we need to have in place to ensure safe and efficient operations.

What we need now is focus and clarity.

We need to do everything possible to ensure a seamless transition and minimize disruptions.

Because the safety, efficiency, and affordability of our systems depend on it.

I said it earlier aviation is the safest form of transportation in the world. But it didnt start out that way. Far from it.

The earliest years of flight were filled with trial and error tragedy and sacrifice.

But we did the work. We worked together. And we achieved more than this industrys founding fathers could have ever dreamed.

But that doesnt mean our work is done.

We cant get complacent.

We went more than nine years and two months without a commercial passenger fatality here in the United States.

But the engine failure on Southwest Flight 1380 reminded us that even a single incident in our system is one too many.

The United States is a worldwide leader in aviation. Were proud of that reputation. And the Trump Administration intends to keep it.

But we know we don’t have a monopoly on good ideas.

We need our partners in the international aviation community to help us reach the next level of safety.

Aviation doesnt have borders, or boundaries.

Were a global community. And theres no limit to what we can achieve when we work together.

Thank you again for joining us this week. Im looking forward to a productive conference.