FAA’s New List of Approved Commercial UAS Still Not Retroactive

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released the seventh round of a list of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) that are approved for use by federally approved commercial operators.

Earlier this year, the FAA began granting new commercial exemptions covering all the UAS approved on its list; these operators would not be restricted to only the types of UAS it had petitioned the FAA to use.

However, those holding a commercial exemption prior to this new procedure have been required to request an amended exemption to operate beyond only the drones types listed in their exemption – a process the Small UAV Coalition, for example, has taken issue with.

Still, the FAA, as it explains in the newly updated list, says previously approved operators must “abide by the conditions and limitations as set forth in their exemption.” The agency notes that this list “cannot be applied retroactively.”

The new list reaches a whopping 1,308 UAS types, including a paper airplane, the Tailor Toys PowerUp 3.0, which Connecticut attorney Peter Sachs did, indeed, garner a federal exemption for last year.

However, the fact that the paper-airplane drone is featured twice in the list – as both Taylor Toys PowerUp 3.0 and Tailor Toys PowerUp 3.0 – shows that the grand total of 1,308 has at least one duplicate.

The FAA’s full drone list can be found here.


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