NOTICE

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION

N 8900.413

 

National Policy

Effective Date: 4/5/17

 

 

Cancellation Date: 4/5/18

 

SUBJ:

Inspection and Maintenance Program Requirements for Airworthiness Certification of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operating Under 55 Pounds

1.    Purpose of This Notice. This notice provides guidance regarding exclusion from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Order 8900.1, Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS), Volume 8, Chapter 5, General Airworthiness and Avionics Technical Functions. This exclusion concerns inspection and maintenance program requirements for airworthiness certification of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) with an operating weight of less than 55 pounds. This notice supports a deviation issued by the Aircraft Certification Service (AIR) to Memorandum Number AIR 100-15-110-DM44 and the current edition of FAA Order 8130.34, Airworthiness Certification of Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Optionally Piloted Aircraft.

2.    Audience. The primary audience for this notice is Flight Standards Service (AFS) personnel who participate in airworthiness certification of UAS with an operating weight of less than 55 pounds. The secondary audience may include other FAA management, operational, and administrative employees, as appropriate.

3.    Where You Can Find This Notice. You can find this notice on the MyFAA employee website at https://employees.faa.gov/tools_resources/orders_notices. Inspectors can access this notice through the FSIMS at http://fsims.avs.faa.gov. Operators can find this notice on the FAA’s website at http://fsims.faa.gov. This notice is available to the public at http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/orders_notices.

4.    Distribution. This notice will be distributed to AFS divisions located at FAA headquarters (HQ) in Washington, DC; regional AFS offices at the branch level; and all certificate‑holding district offices (CHDO).

5.    Background. Unmanned aircraft (UA) are inherently different from manned aircraft and introducing them into the nation’s airspace is an opportunity and a challenge for both the FAA and the aviation community. FAA rules and policies must provide the flexibility to accommodate this integration while also ensuring the safety of the National Airspace System (NAS). To accomplish this task, the FAA is taking an incremental approach to safe integration as it acquires a better understanding of operational issues such as training requirements, operational specifications, airworthiness, and technology. As we integrate UA into the NAS, we are developing new policies, procedures, and approval processes to deal with increasing civilian operations.

6.    Action. AIR and AFS personnel who support the airworthiness certification of a UAS with an operating weight of less than 55 pounds must confirm the following:

a.    Written, Self-Certifying Statement. Applicants must provide the FAA with a written, self‑certifying statement that they have an established inspection and maintenance program for the continued airworthiness of the aircraft.

b.    Operating Limitations Contents. Per deviation memorandum AIR 100-15-110‑DM44 issued March 4, 2015, the inspection and maintenance requirements listed in appendix A of Order 8130.34 are not required to be listed in the operating limitations for UA operated at less than 55 pounds.

7.    Deviations to This Notice. It is necessary to adhere to procedures in this notice to achieve uniform administration of this directive material. The Aircraft Maintenance Division (AFS‑300) must approve any deviations to this notice.

8.    Suggestions or Comments. AFS-300 welcomes and considers all of your suggestions or comments regarding this notice. For your convenience, use FAA Form 1320-19, Directive Feedback Information, which is located at https://employees.faa.gov/tools_resources/forms/. Please use the “Other comments” block on FAA Form 1320-19 to provide a complete explanation of why the suggested change is necessary. You may correct a copy of the pertinent information as necessary, or provide a handwritten note for consideration. Send your suggestions or comments to 9-AWA-AVS-Designee-Directives@faa.gov, where they will be reviewed and sent to the respective policy holder(s).

9.    Disposition. This notice will be cancelled upon publication of Order 8130.34D and the concurrent revision to Order 8900.1, Volume 8, Chapter 5, Section 13, Support for Issuing an Airworthiness Certificate for Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Direct questions concerning the information in this notice to AFS-300 at 202‑267‑1675.

ORIGINAL SIGNED by

/s/ John Barbagallo

Deputy Director, Flight Standards Service