News and Updates – Recurrent Training Courses for Drone Pilots Available Online

Drone pilots who have Part 107 Remote Pilot Certification can now take their required training courses online. The training ensures that they have the knowledge necessary to operate in accordance with the Operations Over People rule when it becomes effective on April 21, 2021.

The training is free and available on the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) website. There are three courses:

Drone pilots who do not hold a current Remote Pilot Certification and want to operate under Part 107 must take the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Initial Aeronautical Knowledge Test online through an FAA-Approved Knowledge Testing Center. Knowledge tests may be scheduled on the Airman Certificate Testing Service (ACTS) website. The test has a fee associated with it and is valid for 24 calendar months.

After the new rule takes effect on April 21, Part 107 remote pilots who have completed the training will be allowed to operate over people, moving vehicles and at night without a waiver under certain conditions. The FAA will accept airspace authorization requests from remote pilots to operate in controlled airspace at night as long as they have completed the updated testing or training requirements. An overview of the Operations Over People rule is available on the FAA website.

The FAA is expecting an increase in traffic to the FAASTeam site with the release of this training. As such, remote pilots may experience technical difficulties while accessing the online courses and are encouraged to access the training outside of regular business days. For general inquiries on these new regulations and other UAS inquiries, please call 844-FLY-MY-UA or email the FAA.

News and Updates – General Aviation Pilots Give a Thumbs Up to Runway Safety “Previews”

In an average year, more than 16 million aircraft fly in U.S. skies and roll safely on airport runways and taxiways. When a runway incursion stemming from a pilot error occurs, it is a rare event, but it draws scrutiny from the Federal Aviation Administration, no matter if it involves a commercial airline or a small general aviation (GA) aircraft.

More than 75 percent of these runway incursions related to pilot actions involve GA aircraft, so the FAA employs multiple ways to reach these pilots, including safety summits, advanced surface radar, clear signage and unique videos.

We need to reduce risk in the system by raising the awareness of general aviation pilots and providing them more understanding of local runway and taxiway configurations, explains Glen Martin, FAA Vice President of Safety and Technical Training.

This is the premise behind the expanding From the Flight Deck runway safety video initiative. The FAA has produced a series of 4- to 5-minute videos of actual approach, landing and runway taxi scenarios at small and medium-size airports using Go-Pro cameras in a Cessna to create the GA pilot viewpoint. Graphics, animation and runway diagrams also have been added along with a voice-over to fully describe and educate about runway and intersection hot spots at specific airports across the United States.

With these videos, knowledge and training is designed from the cockpit perspective, allowing pilots to visualize the approach and layout to an airport before they actually arrive, Martin adds.This experience will improve their decision-making and reduce errors and accidents.

So far, more than three dozen videos have been developed and released free to the public, which highlight runways and intersections at 33 different U.S. airports. General videos also have been created for GA operations that focus on wrong airport landings, wrong surface landings, winter weather, wrong direction departures and hold short procedures. The video series has garnered more than 170,000 views since its inception.

The FAA plans to create and release videos for 30 to 40 more airports during the next two years. Additional goals include linking every video to its corresponding airport web site and for general aviation trade associations to help build awareness and distribution of these safety videos through their own social media sites.

These are invaluable safety tools for general aviation pilots and for airports with general aviation operations, adds Martin. Getting the right information to the pilot will help make us safer.

Join the FAA today for a General Aviation Safety Town Hall from 23:30 p.m. ET. The virtual meeting will feature Administrator Steve Dickson, Deputy Administrator Bradley Mims, general aviation stakeholders and FAA experts.

News and Updates – FAA Awards $627.7 Million in Airport Improvement Grants

These grants are an investment in safety and continued innovation.

News and Updates – FAA Task Force Focuses on Youth Access to Jobs

The Youth Access to American Jobs in Aviation Task Force held its second public meeting on March 31, 2021, hearing from guest speakers from Black Girls Who Drone and the Civil Air Patrol. Ernanda White, founder of Black Girls Who Drone spoke on exploring other entry points to engage underrepresented women and girls in aviation, while Dr. Jeffrey Montgomery with the Civil Air Patrol addressed additional areas of aviation education and outreach.

The FAA wants to attract the best, brightest and most diverse group of people to be part of the aviation and aerospace industry. We need to reach kids and young people in an inclusive and equitable way, said FAA Deputy Administrator Bradley Mims.

The Task Force, comprised of aviation leaders from industry and academia, are charged with providing independent recommendations and strategies to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to educate youth on career opportunities in aviation. In addition, the Task Force will identify and recommend opportunities for apprenticeships, workforce development programs and careers in the aviation for students.

Focusing on U.S. high school students, these recommendations and strategies will be used to facilitate and encourage students to enroll in aviation career and technical education courses. These include aviation manufacturing and maintenance and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

The Task Force will submit recommendations and strategies from their meetings to the FAA Administrator and the appropriate Congressional committees. To learn more about the Task Force, comment or get answers to your questions, please contact us or visit the Task Force website.

News and Updates – FAA Air Traffic Control is Teed Up for The Masters

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is ready for the influx of general aviation flights to Augusta, Ga., for the Masters Tournament in early April. The agency also is cautioning golf fans to do their homework before chartering a flight to the event and ensure it is operated by an FAA-certificated carrier.

The FAA worked closely with federal, state and local agencies, the aviation community, and officials at Augusta National Golf Club to ensure safe, secure and efficient operations at Augusta-area airports.

Air Traffic Management
The FAA anticipates hundreds of additional take-offs and landings and aircraft parked at Augusta-area airportsfrom April 4 to April 12, 2021. Air traffic controllers may use traffic management initiatives to efficiently move flights into Augusta Regional Airport at Bush Field (AGS) and Daniel Field Airport (DNL). Aiken Regional Airport (AIK) in Aiken, S.C., and Thomson-McDuffie County Airport (HQU) in Thomson, Ga., also may see an increase in flights. Traffic management initiatives include rerouting flights, increasing space between aircraft, restricting altitudes and implementing ground stops, and ground delay programs. Air traffic also has established special arrival and departure routes for jet and turboprop aircraft operating at those airports. Details are posted at FAAs Masters Tournament Air Traffic Procedures.

Safe Charter Operation
If you decide to charter an aircraft to fly to the Masters, verify the operators legitimacy before you before you book your flight. Ask to see the Operator’s Air Carrier or Operating Certificate to validate that the aircraft has authorization for charter use.

Illegal air charter operations pose serious safety hazards, and theFAAworks aggressively to identify and shut down rogue operators.Learn more by visitingSafe Air Charter Operations, Chartering an Aircraft, and at A Consumer Guide to Help You Fly Smarter.