The City of Murfreesboro, Tenn., has received a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to begin unmanned aircraft system (UAS) pilot training.
The training by an FAA-certified pilot, using the Yuneec Typhoon Q500 quadcopter, will be conducted in Barfield Crescent Park beginning Oct. 14. Flights may not exceed 400 feet above ground level and will have a limit of half a nautical mile.
The UAS pilot must file a Notice to Airmen before flying. The pilot must also have the ability to maintain constant communications with the Murfreesboro Municipal and Nashville International airports during training operations. (The site is within five miles of the airports.)
The city received FAA authorization Aug. 5 for a two-year certificate ending Aug. 4, 2017. Among the FAA requirements for training, pilots must complete Private Pilot Ground School, pass a knowledge exam and receive a Class 2 medical certificate.
The current program will be for training only, but if approved for more than training purposes, the city hopes to use UAS for a wide range of support services, including water and sewer department surveying, GPS land mapping, fire suppression, search and rescue, and disaster relief.