The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) says it has filed a Section 333 exemption with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) commercially.
AOPA, which is based in Frederick, Md., says it plans to use the DJI Inspire 1 quadcopter “to highlight and encourage the safe integration of UAS into the national airspace system, further AOPA’s safety and education programs, and support activities that promote the long-term health of general aviation.”
AOPA touts itself as the world’s largest community of pilots and aviation enthusiasts. Last year, the association backed the Know Before You Fly UAS safety campaign. AOPA was also a member of the FAA-selected task force for drone registration and has been invited to the micro UAS aviation rulemaking committee. Last October, AOPA was one of a number of entities that sent a letter to the FAA to advocate for a finalized regulatory framework for commercial UAS.
“UAS are here to stay, and we can only expect to see more of them in the coming years. It’s vitally important that users understand how to integrate into airspace safety without posing a risk to those on the ground or in the air,” said George Perry, AOPA’s Air Safety Institute senior vice president, in March 2015, when the group backed Know Before You Fly.