Unmanned Aerial Systems

unmanned aerial systems 17

Author’s Name

Unmanned Aerial System

Unmanned aerial system (UAS) is an aircraft, which does not have apilot operating it from inside the plane. Commonly known as (drones)the aerial systems operate through remote control or rely on flightplans which are pre-programmed or monitored automation systems(Nonami, 2010). Currently, the diversification andgreater use of UASs dominates as one of the leading trends intechnology, airspace, and aircraft sectors. In the last five years,unmanned vehicles have received significant attention owing toimproved innovations, which enhance the safety of flying as a whole.A large percentage of individuals in different societies understandthe role of unmanned systems (FederalAviation Administration, 2016). Ideally, there is amisconception that the use of drones is a new invention and form ofairspace technology. However, unmanned vehicles date back to the1900s during the times of the Persian Gulf War, the World War 1&amp2,and the Civil War. Such aircraft were predominant in the military,which used unmanned planes, missiles, and helicopters. The proposalthat unmanned aircraft join the NAS has resulted in the analysis ofseveral factors pertaining to the operation of aircrafts in thiscategory(Lozano, 2010). The paper takes the initiative todiscuss the new regulations of the FAA, the observation of safety,and the support of innovation, and the greater role/use of UASs inthe future.

The Integration of (UAS) into the US NationalAirspace Systems (NAS)

FAA NewRegulations Pertaining to Both Commercial Operators and toRecreational Operators

The FederalAviation Administration (FAA) is the body, which monitors differentaspects civil aviation (private &amp commercial aviation) in theUnited States. The administration commenced in 1958 and has an annualbudget of 15.96 billion dollars (Valavanis&amp Vachtsevanos, 2011).The FAA plays a significant role in controlling and regulating bothcommercial and recreational operators. As such, the priority of thefederal organization is to ensure efficiency as well as safety ofcivil aircrafts in the country. Over the years, unmanned aircraft hasoperated individually without the interference of the regulatoryboard. Recent studies, research, and developments state that theincorporation of drones in the NAS will serve as a benefit to theentire aircraft industry. It will also increase the level ofsecurity, safety, and intelligence in the country and different partsof the globe (Lozano,2010).

The FAA is incharge of overseeing the incorporation and integration of the UASinto the US National Airspace Systems (NAS). The new regulationsshould update all regulations and provisions in existing NAS aircraftlaws to meet the new requirements. The main initiative of the FAAincludes amending of the laws, which pertain to the integration ofthe National Aircraft System. This extends to the administrationswebsite, which provides the latest amendments, which focus onsmall-unmanned systems(FederalAviation Administration, 2016).The integration of the UAS has been ongoing for almost two years.Like all integrations, the process has experienced some challengesowing to the complexities of aircraft safety, intelligence, demandingregulations, and the sensitive nature of unmanned piloting. Notably,the entire process is complete and all the new laws are established.However, the laws will be effective and operational on 29 August2016. The main rule, which will be effective, is the new small UASRule (Part 107). In addition, all rules, which pertain to pilotingand operating rules, will also be effective (Nonami,2010).

Boththe FAA and the UAS have worked hand in hand for the last one year toensure effective integration of unmanned aircraft systems into theNAS. In addition, the Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) is alsocontributing to the finalization of the new regulations. All bodiesrecognize that unmanned aircrafts provide certain benefits to theaircraft industry as a whole(Valavanis &amp Vachtsevanos, 2011).For example, new technology of unmanned aircraft enhances theproductivity of commercial flying and public service operators. Inturn, this will increase the level of efficiency, improve safety, anddecrease costs of both operation and flying. This is one of the mainreasons for the integration of such planes is vital in the NAS. Inthe past, UASs have operated freely without the interference andattention from the NAS. This is because of the use of unmannedaircraft in remote regions and infrequent use of unmanned planes inmonitored airspaces. However, in the last two decades, UAS aircraftshave become widely recognized in different parts of the globe, andalternate industries. Hence, NAS has to consider its significance inboth commercial and recreational categories (Lozano,2010).

Review of the New Regulations

One of the issues of the newregulations is that each section has many provisions, which focus ondifferent aspects of flying. The new small UAS rule applies to the

  • Operational limitations

  • Report pilot in command certification, and responsibilities

  • Aircraft requirements

  • Model aircraft (Federal Aviation Administration, 2016)

The paperwill single out few regulations in review of the new regulatorystandards in order to get a comprehensive understanding of the newregulations and their implication on the country’s management ofcivil aircrafts.

  1. Operational Limitations

Unmannedaircraft under 55lbs (25 kg) should remain within the perimeter ofthe visual line of sight (VLOS) of the pilot. The aircraft shouldfollow the same directive when managed by the person in control ofthe plane. In turn, the aircraft should be in sight of the visualobserver.

To ensuresafety, all unmanned aircraft must be in close proximity with theremote pilot. This applies to those manipulating the flight controlof the small UAS for people who can see the aircraft without any aidapart from corrective lenses. These are applicable for bothcommercial and recreational operators of unmanned aircraft (FederalAviation Administration, 2016).

Anotherregulation requires that small-unmanned aircrafts should not operateor fly over any person who is not part of the operation. In addition,the aircraft should not fly under structures that are covered.Lastly, drones should not operate inside a covered stationaryvehicle.

Both daylightand twilight operators can fly half an hour before official sunriseand sunset of local time. This should occur with appropriateanti-collision lighting. The rule contains over 20 regulations. Therule is essential in maintaining the safety for commercial andrecreational users and the people near the planes. Notably, most ofthe restrictions listed in the new laws can be waived. This onlyapplies to applicants who can operate under the certificate waiver(Federal Aviation Administration,2016).

  1. Remote Pilot in Command Certification, and Responsibilities

Operators ofUASs must hold a remote pilot airman certificate with a small UASrating. A person who does not have a certificate should be under thedirect supervision with a remote pilot certificate or the remotepilot in command. The regulations also have specific provisions toqualify for a remote pilot certificate.

In the caseof part 61 pilot certificate holders, people under this category mayobtain a temporary certificate immediately after they apply for theirremote pilot certificate. Other persons without a pilot 61certificate will obtain their temporary certificate aftersuccessfully completing their TSA vetting. Remote pilot certificatesare issuable within 10 business days after completing the remotepilot application. The rule has another set of regulations, whichguide remote pilots in command before any operation (FederalAviation Administration, 2016).

  1. Aircraft Requirements

Theregulations mention that the FAA airworthiness certificate is notessential for small-unmanned aircraft. However, the remote pilot incommand should conduct a preflight check to ensure that the UAS isappropriate for flying (FederalAviation Administration, 2016).

  1. Model Aircraft

All modelaircraft that satisfies all criteria in the 336 of public law 112-95does not apply to rule 107. However, the FAA enforcement authority inpart 101 should prevent model aircraft operators from endangeringsafety of the NAS (FederalAviation Administration, 2016).

Analysisof FAAs Slow Response to the Issue and Subsequent over Reaching, andOver Demanding Regulations

There aremany advantages to incorporating the UASs into the NAS. As such, itis essential that authorities in charge of creating and reviewing thelaws and regulations meet the stated deadline of enforcement.Notably, the process has taken longer than expected owing to variousfactors such as political interference, complicated FAA laws, andinefficient technology required for the commercialization and massconsumption of unmanned planes (FederalAviation Administration, 2016).As mentioned earlier, some of the benefits of unmanned systemsinclude increasing the efficiency of flying, reduced cost ofoperation and pricing, and improved safety. The slow response of theFAA is hindering the greater use of UASs in different industries andeconomic sectors. Some of the ways in which society will gain fromdrones upon the completion of the integration are:

  1. Drones can save lives of millions of people. For example, unmanned aircraft have the ability to penetrate into areas where human beings cannot access. In most cases, different terrains require extensive research in order to find solutions for natural and manmade calamities. For example, in the case of floods and war, drones can locate injured victims and survivors without risking the lives of pilots (Bartsch, 2012).&nbsp

  2. Unmanned systems enhance law enforcement. Criminals, terrorists, and drug dealers are becoming more creative in breaking the law and avoiding conviction. Hence, law enforcement officers require the latest forms of technology to capture criminals rescue kidnapped individuals, and locate illegal merchandise. Drones are vital in complimenting the work of the police, the FBI, and the CIA (Larsen, et al 2012).

  3. Unmanned aerial systems can reduce the level of risk in high-risk areas such as the Middle East, North Korea, and countries where illegal drug trafficking is predominant like Columbia. In the past, journalists risked their lives by traveling to such regions to report the latest news and trends nationally and internationally. It is much safer to send drones to such areas as opposed to human beings. Therefore, unmanned aircrafts stand to reduce the liabilities experienced in different industries. In addition, such aircraft will improve the overall functions of the aviation industry (Valavanis &amp Vachtsevanos, 2011).

FAAs Slow Response toEnforcement

Theanticipation of the incorporation of drones into the NAS is creatingunrest for businesses, corporations, and individuals who haveinvested in such aircraft. Moreover, unmanned aircraft will benefitthe entire society if properly implemented. The FAA is facingpressure from different shareholders who all have a stake anddifferent opinions on the progress of the entire process(Valavanis &amp Vachtsevanos, 2011).For example, experts in law and aviation regulation state that theFAA does not have the mandate to create legal guidelines for remotecontrolled aerial systems. Hence, the body can only come up withregulations, which are not enforceable by law. With that said, ownersof unmanned planes may continue to operate without following therules in the case that they cannot get approval to operate theiraircraft. As such, their needs to be legal provisions, whichrecognize the regulations as, law going forward. The lack of propernational and international laws to regulate unmanned aircraft is oneof the reasons for the confusion of how to integrate UASs into theNAS (US Department ofTransportation Federal Aviation Administration, 2013).

Ideally, theFAA regulations are not law. However, the country and internationalaircraft industry are highly reliant on the administration for thecreation of regulations needed to manage the way in which unmannedaircrafts navigate in various airspaces. One of the complaintsconcerning the integration process is that the administration hasdelayed in streamlining the laws to meet the required demands by allconcerned parties. For example, the rule that is enforceable onAugust 29 pertains to SUASs (Small Unmanned Systems). Critics mentionthat while small UASs are essential to the aircraft industry, they donot represent the needs of the large part of society such astransportation of human beings and cargo to different locations. Theairline industry is essential to various industries and to thetransport sector as a whole. The FAAs choice to focus on smallaircraft delays different societies and economies from capitalizingon the benefits that come with using drones for mass transportation(Bergen&amp Rothenberg, 2015).&nbsp

One of therising concerns with regard to the rule is that the operationalrestrictions do not promote commercial use. The aviation industrybrings in billions of dollars on an annual basis. Drones represent asection of the aircraft industry, which can provide air transportboth commercially, and for recreational purposes(Nonami, 2010).While concerned parties in the airline industry such asmanufacturers, airline companies, and employees in the aviationindustry welcome the finalization of rule, the regulations show aclear indication that more research and innovation of unmannedaircraft is essential in stabilizing their role in the future. TheFAA need to work hand in hand with manufactures to determine factorssuch as airworthiness of commercial drones, safety, efficiency, andintelligence. In addition, a majority of the public have an idea ofdrones and their essentiality in aviation. However, the regulationsdo not mention the use of commercial planes. This is one of thereasons for the rising complaints about overrating the role of dronesin the future. Therefore, the FAAs slow response to such concerns isan indication that the acceptance of drones has a long way to go(Bartsch,2012).&nbsp

Need to Place Safety as a Priority

It is important to recognize the significanceof UASs and their emergence into the various aspects of modern life.However, like any technological invention, drones may serve as adanger to human beings with the failure to enforce proper andeffective regulations. Drones are gaining acceptance by people fromall lifestyles and occupations owing to its affordability,accessibility, and manageability (Larsenet al., 2012). Moreover, somedrones are easy to use because manufacturers have to honor the marketdemands for user-friendly products. Manufactures and distributorssell drones to any person or organization that can afford the priceand maintenance costs. With that said, the lack of proper dronecontrol and distribution regulation may cause the aircrafts to landin the wrong hands. For example, with the rising rate of terrorism,terror cell penetration, corruption, and government spying, peoplecan purchase drones to perform operations on their behalf. This canresult in the mass destruction of both lives and property. Hence, theregulations are not only essential for safe flying but also forcountering potential security attack (Bartsch,2012).&nbsp

Another issue concerning the use of unmannedaircraft is that manufactures need to introduce more technology tocurb rising concerns such as lack of pilots in the planes, andtechnical issues, and concerns of capacity. Currently, most drone aresmall and are manageable. Airline companies intend to adopt the useof drone planes for commercial use. This does not seem practical insome case where drones should be in close vicinity to their remotepilot (Nonami,2010).

Lastly, there are major concerns by pilotsthat drones are unsafe especially in the case whereby they penetrateinto the flight path of another plane. This may result in thecollusion of a plane and the drone. Pilots often spot drones incities like New York and Dallas whereby drones emerge in restrictedairports and airspaces reserved for airline use (Larsenet al., 2012).

Enhancing Innovation

Unmannedvehicles enhance innovations in all aspects of life. In turn, thisimproves the rate of efficiency, reliability, and effectiveness inthe airline and automobile industry. Aircraft and aerospacemanufacturers are often coming up with innovative ways of usingdifferent aircrafts. While drones are not a new invention, they arereceiving worldwide recognition from civilians than before(Cortright,et al., 2015). The market forUASs encourages the incorporation of smart ideas in aircrafts. Ifanything, most of the apps, features, and technologies come fromsmart phones. Enhanced innovation of drones has benefits in themining, architecture, farming, military tactics, intelligence,service delivery, an even education. The FAA rules will serve as aplatform for the creation of more aircrafts required for commercialuse. Innovation may have negative implications is not conducted well.Hence, manufacturers should make safety a priority in order to gainthe trust of more investors and consumers (Bartsch,2012).&nbsp

Latest UAS Designs in the Next Year

It is difficult to keep up with the latestdrones in the market owing to the constant innovation and emergenceof new technologies. One of the drones, which show the incorporationof new technology, is the Volocopter VC200. The plane has featuresthat indicate the direction that manufacturer is taking in terms ofinnovations of the UASs. The UAS has a fixed pitch multi propeller,which enhances its performance, speed, and strength. The aircraftruns using 50 kilowatts of power owing to the 18 electronic motors.The drone is classified as a hybrid given that it has features of twoseparate aircrafts. The aircraft is a vertical (take off and landing)drone and has the same flight period of an aircraft with fixed wingcharacteristics. Such drones can be useful in the agriculture and themining sectors (Bergen&amp Rothenberg, 2015).&nbsp

FAAs New Laws part 117 may RestrictInnovations in New Designs

Part 117 governs flight time limitations andrest time for pilots. The rule became effective from 24 January 2014.The rule concentrates on requirements of flight duty and addressesthe Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS). One of the importantaspects of this rule is the required rest time and the quality of theresting facilities in the plane. While the law applies to variousmanned aircraft, it does not cater for cargo operations. New UASs,which do not have an appropriate place in the rule, will havedifficulty during registration and monitoring. As such, thisrestricts the manufacture of more aircrafts that do not meet thestandards of rule 117 (Cortright,et al., 2015).

New Uses for Drones in the Future forCommercial Use

Drones are finding their way in variousindustries and thus appeal to people of all demographics anddifferent businesses. As such, most of the trends in terms of designsare reflective of the services expected of the drone. Multinationalcompanies like Amazon, Google, and Wal-Mart are focusing on designingdrones, which can enhance the delivery of packages and goods.However, the objectives of such companies cannot take place withoutthe go ahead of the FAA, which has to ensure that ideas for thecommercialization meet the regulations to be enforced in august(Larsenet al., 2012).

UASs arealso essential in industries like mining and construction of largebuildings. Currently, people tailor aircrafts to satisfy the demandof professionals in various industries. Drones contain cameras,computing systems, night vision features, and calculators. Thesefeatures ensure that the machines perform duties of human beings. Thecommercialization of such aircraft can target different industries,which require complex qualifications and responsibilities (Nonami,2010).

The newpublication of the FAA sUASs limits the use of drones to theirfullest capacity. However, more entrepreneurs are realizing thecommercial benefits that drones present to the economy. For example,industries like agriculture stand to gain in terms of efficient andeffective production. One of the ways that drones can assist infarming is through pipeline and crop inspection that is a vitalprocess during the farming of crops (Bartsch,2012).&nbsp

FAAs Need to Promote these new Technologiesand Regulate them at the Same Time

FAA facesa dilemma given that it has the responsibility of regulating allcommercial and recreational aircrafts. For example, theadministration has an obligation to monitor civilian aircraft, whichis essential to both social and economic growth. The federal bodyensures that it creates clear guidelines, which promote efficient useof planes. On the other hand, the body has to promote the creationand emergence of new technologies in order to enhance the aircraftindustry (FederalAviation Administration, 2016). One of the tasks FAA has is to amendits regulations and laws to meet the classification of new aircraft.For example, unmanned technology is a type of aerospace system.However, its unique operational and flying method limits theadministration’s ability introduce functional and practical laws.Therefore, the FAA has to change its principles to accommodate newtechnologies, which will serve a wide array of people in the longterm (Cortrightet al., 2015).

Notably,while the regulations limit the operation of drones, they challengemanufacturers to get creative and incorporate features, which canelevate the drone to qualify for other uses and provisions. Forexamples, according to the FAA operational rule, UASs that weightless than 55 pounds can only operate in daylight or 30 minutes beforeand after official sunset. This means that commercial drones shouldoperate within the restricted time for safety purposes. With thatsaid, manufactures are challenged to increased the drone sizes andimprove features which can ensure that the FAA permits the operationof the drones during nighttime (Valavanis, 2007).&nbsp

Enforcement Issues with the new UAS laws aswell as the FAA’s Heavy handed Approach to Recreational Hobbyist

Enforcementissues not only touch on commercial users but also look atrecreational hobbyist. The new UAS laws have a set of regulationsthat limit the use of unmanned aircraft for recreational proposes.One of the features of drones is that they serve as a recreationalitem, which is essential for relaxation, a luxury item, and a toy. Alarge percentage of potential buyers purchase unmanned aircraft forrecreational use. Hence, recreational hobbyists play a significantrole in the sale of the product and its demand in the future. FAArules such as the operational limits and the remote pilot in commandcertification and responsibilities provide regulations, whichregulate recreational hobbyist’s use of unmanned aircraft. Forexample, individuals who bought drones for recreational purposes maynot be able to use their aircraft until they have a remote pilotairman certificate. In the case that they do not qualify for thecertificate, owners have to use their aircraft under the supervisionof a certified pilot. In terms of the operational limitations,recreational hobbyists will need the help of a professional tounderstand all the laws listed in this section. This requires asignificant amount of time and may hinder people from operating theiraircraft. One of the main issues that hobbyists complain about is theextensive number of regulations required in the 107 rule. Advocatesfor recreational pilots further argue that these limitations areunnecessary and hence should be officially waived (US Department ofTransportation Federal Aviation Administration, 2013).


Unmanned aircrafts have taken center stage inthe aircraft and technology industry because of the extensive demandfor such planes by both commercial and recreational users. In thepast, people operated unmanned planes without the supervision andrecognition of the NAS. One of the reasons for this dynamic is thatthe drones were used in remote locations. The spiraling number ofdrones in the American airspaces gets credit for the proposal thatunmanned aircrafts should join the NAS. Since then members of thecivil society have welcomed this approach stating that it will resultin the further development of UASs in the future. However, in thelast years, the integration of UAS has proved to be challenging owingto the extensive rules established by the FAA. The federaladministrations delay to finalize and enforce the rules is bringingunrest in the industry. Some of the reasons for this dynamic are thatthe unmanned aircraft has not developed to accommodate the demandsfrom various stakeholders. In addition, the FAA is influenced bydifferent parties such as manufacturers, consumers, and evenpolitical institutions, which all have concerns of the effectivenessof the integration process. Notably, drones will enhance aircraftsafety, provide more employment opportunities, improve efficiency,and enhance security. Drones for commercial use will place asignificant role in enhancing the economies of different countries.Hence, understanding the various factors concerning the integrationof UASs to the NAS is essential for capitalizing on the benefits inthe future.


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