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US Federal Aviation Administration News

Keeping up to date with the latest changes in aviation regulations requires the user to actively visit all the web sites relating to his or her aircraft, airspace, regulations and safety issues. In this space we provide pages with news feeds from the major aviation authorities, saving you time and you need to visit only one place.

The news feed below presents the latest information from the US FAA. Make sure to check these feeds as they might be appropriate to your flying activities.



Latest Regulatory News

News and updates to FAA regulatory information, including formal publications, regulations and guidance material.

US Federal Aviation Administration
  • News and Updates - FAA Establishes Restrictions on Drone Operations over DOJ and DOD Facilities Fri, 15 Feb 2019 15:29:13 EST

    At the request of its federal security partners, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is using its existing authority under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 99.7 Special Security Instructions to address concerns about drone operations over national security sensitive facilities by establishing temporary unmanned aircraft system (UAS) specific flight restrictions.

    Information on the FAA Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), which defines these restrictions, and all of the currently covered locations, can be found at the UAS Data Display System, which provides an interactive map, downloadable geospatial data, and other important details. A link to these restrictions is also included in the FAAs B4UFLY mobile app.

    Additional, broader information regarding flying drones in the National Airspace System, including frequently asked questions, is available on the FAAs UAS website.

    In cooperation with Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Defense (DOD), the FAA is establishing additional restrictions on drone flights up to 400 feet within the lateral boundaries of the following Federal facilities:

    • Federal Correctional Institution Allenwood Medium in Allenwood, PA
    • Federal Correctional Institution Beaumont Medium in Beaumont, TX
    • Federal Correctional Institution Butner Medium I in Butner, NC
    • Federal Correctional Institution Butner Medium II in Butner, NC
    • Federal Correctional Institution Coleman Medium near Sumterville, FL
    • Federal Correctional Institution Florence in Florence, CO
    • Federal Correctional Institution Forrest City Medium in Forrest City, AR
    • Federal Correctional Institution Hazelton near Bruceton Mills, WV
    • Federal Correctional Institution Lompoc in Lompoc, CA
    • Federal Correctional Institution Oakdale I in Oakdale, LA
    • Federal Correctional Institution Oakdale II in Oakdale, LA
    • Federal Correctional Institution Petersburg near Hopewell, VA
    • Federal Correctional Institution Pollock in Pollock, LA
    • Federal Correctional Institution Terre Haute in Terre Haute, IN
    • Federal Correctional Institution Tucson in Tucson, AZ
    • Federal Correctional Institution Victorville Medium I in Victorville, CA
    • Federal Correctional Institution Victorville Medium II in Victorville, CA
    • Federal Correctional Institution Yazoo City Medium in Yazoo City, MS
    • Federal Detention Center Honolulu in Honolulu, HI
    • Federal Detention Center Houston in Houston, TX
    • Federal Detention Center Miami in Miami, FL
    • Federal Detention Center Philadelphia in Philadelphia, PA
    • Federal Detention Center SeaTac near Seattle, WA
    • Federal Medical Center Carswell near Fort Worth, TX
    • Federal Medical Center Fort Worth in Fort Worth, TX
    • Federal Medical Center Rochester in Rochester, MN
    • Metropolitan Correctional Center Chicago in Chicago, IL
    • Metropolitan Correctional Center New York in New York City, NY
    • Metropolitan Correctional Center San Diego in San Diego, CA
    • Medical Center for Federal Prisoners Springfield in Springfield, MO
    • Metropolitan Detention Center Brooklyn in Brooklyn, NY
    • Metropolitan Detention Center Guaynabo in Guaynabo, PR
    • Metropolitan Detention Center Los Angeles in Los Angeles, CA
    • Fort Detrick in Frederick, MD
    • Fort Gordon near Augusta, GA
    • Fort Lee near Richmond, VA
    • Holston Army Ammunition Plant near Kingsport, TN
    • McAlester Army Ammunition Plant in McAlester, OK
    • Radford Army Ammunition Plant in Radford, VA
    • Joint Base McGuire near Trenton, NJ
    • Pearl Harbor Naval Defense Sea Area in Honolulu, HI

    These changes, which have been highlighted by FAA NOTAM FDC [9/2586], are pending until they become effective on February 26. Note that there are only a few exceptions that permit drone flights within these restrictions, and they must be coordinated with the individual facility and/or the FAA.

    Operators who violate the flight restrictions may be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges.

    The FAA is continuing to consider additional requests by eligible federal security agencies for UAS specific flight restrictions using the Agencys 99.7 authority as they are received. Additional changes to these restrictions will be announced by the FAA as appropriate.

  • News and Updates - Fly Safe: Prevent Loss of Control Accidents Fri, 15 Feb 2019 12:38:15 EST

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the general aviation (GA) communitys national #FlySafe campaign helps educate GA pilots about the best practices to calculate and predict aircraft performance and to operate within established aircraft limitations.

    A Loss of Control (LOC) accident involves an unintended departure of an aircraft from controlled flight. LOC can happen when the aircraft enters a flight regime that is outside its normal flight envelope and quickly develops into a stall or spin. It can introduce an element of surprise for the pilot.

    Weather, Planning, and How to Stay Out of Trouble
    Mountain flying can be an exhilarating adventure. However, maintaining safety in this kind of environment requires a pilot to stay alert and pay attention. Knowing the weather, how to read the clouds, making your flight plan, and staying out of trouble these points are all key to enjoying another day.

    Every mountainous area is different, so while you might be familiar with one area, you are likely not prepared for all. Good training, both on the ground and with an experienced flight instructor, will help ensure that you know the basics of mountain flying and understand the different types of hazards you may encounter.

    Weather Requirements
    Here are some general weather guidelines youll want to keep in mind when mountain flying:

    • Winds forecast at 9,000 and 12,000 feet at a maximum of 25 knots.
    • Ceiling at least 2,000 feet above all ridges and passes along the route.
    • Visibility of at least 10 miles along the route.

    If any of these requirements are not met, look for an alternative route, consider delaying the flight, or cancel the flight and rent a car. Be smart and stay safe!

    Mountain Waves
    When the wind speed is above about 25 knots and flowing perpendicular to a ridge line, the air flow can form waves, much like water flowing over rocks in a stream bed. These mountain or lee waves can occur in any season, but are more common in the winter. Mountain waves can cause very strong up- and downdrafts. The downdrafts in moderate mountain waves can exceed 1,000 feet per minute, making it difficult to cross the ridge.

    Severe turbulence can also develop with the rotor that comes with a mountain wave. Rotors are caused by wind shear and rotating movement underneath the crest of a mountain wave.

    Read the Clouds
    A good mountain flying course should include a thorough discussion on how to read the clouds. Youll learn how to spot the crests of a mountain wave and identify rotor clouds. Knowing these basics will help you choose the best route for a safe flight.

    Density Altitude
    Density altitude is the pressure altitude corrected for temperature. The important take-away for a pilot here is that density altitude is an indicator of aircraft performance. The term comes from the fact that the density of the air decreases with altitude. A high density altitude means that air density is reduced, which has an adverse impact on aircraft performance.

    You must know how your aircraft will perform in a variety of density altitudes. The numbers can vary and will change quickly. Elevation, snow melt, and other factors will all affect density altitude. Know how your aircraft will respond. Normally-aspirated engines develop approximately three-percent less power for each thousand feet above sea level.

    Youll want to lean your engine for higher density altitudes. Leaning will ensure the maximum power output from your engine, as well as reduce sparkplug fouling during idle and taxi operations. It is recommended to lean when taxiing or any time the engine is operating above approximately 3,500 feet mean sea level.

    Also, know that your true airspeed is about two percent higher than indicated airspeed for every thousand feet of altitude. The greater speed results in a greater turn radius. The higher true airspeed also translates into a longer landing roll, so keep that in mind during your touchdown. You may have 20 percent more speed than you would at sea level, which is comparable to landing with a tailwind. The ground will appear to rush by faster than what you are accustomed to. Override your instincts and fly the airplane based on its indicated airspeed.

    Navigation
    Planning a mountain flight involves finding points in space, not predefined intersections. You will be looking for terrain features, such as passes and drainage. Use global positioning system waypoints in conjunction with a mobile device application to maintain situational awareness and avoid getting lost. A good mountain flying course will teach you how to select routes that will keep you safe.

    Some states produce tools to help pilots navigate safely. Check your states Department of Aeronautics for helpful charts, maps, and phone numbers.

    Finally

    • Know your weather, and know when to delay your flight.
    • Know your aircrafts performance ranges and limits.
    • Before descending into a mountain airport, know your options for go-arounds and take-offs.
    • Never fly up a canyon that you havent already flown down, so that you know there is room to turn around.
    • Never try to out climb the terrain. Many pilots have lost that bet.
    • Do your preflight planning, so youll know the correct heading to expect when picking the right valley to fly through.
    • If an accident happens, stay with the airplane. Remove the ELT from the aircraft, turn it on, and let your rescuers turn it off.
    • Finally, take a good mountain flying course before venturing out. Fly regularly with a flight instructor who will challenge you to review what you know, explore new horizons and always do your best.

    More about Loss of Control:
    Contributing factors may include:

    • Poor judgment or aeronautical decision making
    • Failure to recognize an aerodynamic stall or spin and execute corrective action
    • Intentional failure to comply with regulations
    • Failure to maintain airspeed
    • Failure to follow procedure
    • Pilot inexperience and proficiency
    • Use of prohibited or over-the-counter drugs, illegal drugs, or alcohol

    Did you know?

    • Loss of Control was the number one cause of these accidents.
    • Loss of Control happens in all phases of flight.It can happen anywhere and at any time.
    • There is one fatal accident involving Loss of Control every four days.

    Learn more:

    Heres a good fact sheet to reference on Mountain Flying.

    This Back to Basics YouTube video provides a helpful introduction to mountain flying.

    This FAA Aviation Safety publication, Tips on Mountain Flying, will give you more information.

    This NTSB Safety Alert on Mastering Mountain Flying stresses the need for good training.

    AOPA has a number of good resources. This Safety Advisor will get you started.

    Time is getting short!! The FAAs Equip ADS-B website gives you the information you need to equip now.

    Curious about FAA regulations (Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations)? Its a good idea to stay on top of them. You can find current FAA regulations on this website.

    TheFAASafety.govwebsite has Notices, FAAST Blasts, online courses, webinars, and more on key general aviation safety topics.

    TheWINGS Pilot Proficiency Programhelps pilots build an educational curriculum suitable for their unique flight requirements. It is based on the premise that pilots who maintain currency and proficiency in the basics of flight will enjoy a safer and more stress-free flying experience.

    TheGeneral Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC)is comprised of government and industry experts who work together to use data to identify risk, pinpoint trends through root cause analysis, and develop safety strategies to reduce the risk of GA accidents. The GAJSC combines the expertise of many key decision makers in the FAA, several government agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and stakeholder groups. Industry participants include the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, National Business Aviation Association, National Air Transportation Association, National Association of Flight Instructors, Society of Aviation and Flight Educators, and the aviation insurance industry. The National Transportation Safety Board and the European Aviation Safety Agency participate as observers.

  • News and Updates - FAA Air Traffic Report Fri, 15 Feb 2019 08:15:41 EST

    Today's Air Traffic Report:

    Gusty winds could delay flights today in Boston (BOS), the New York area (EWR, JFK, LGA), Philadelphia (PHL) and San Francisco (SFO). Low clouds and freezing fog are expected in Denver (DEN), while snow accumulations are forecast in Aspen (ASE) and Vail (EGE) as skiers arrive for the long holiday weekend.

    Pilots: Check out the new Graphical Forecasts for Aviation (GFA) Tool from the Aviation Weather Center.

    For up-to-the-minute air traffic operations information, visit fly.faa.gov, and follow @FAANews on Twitter for the latest news and Air Traffic Alerts.

    The FAA Air Traffic Report provides a reasonable expectation of any daily impactsto normal air traffic operations, i.e. arrival/departure delays, ground stoppages, airport closures. This information is for air traffic operations planning purposes and is reliable as weather forecasts and other factors beyond our ability to control.

    Always check with your air carrier for flight-specific delay information.

  • News and Updates - FAA Modifies LAANC Service Provider Request Thu, 14 Feb 2019 14:18:12 EST

    WASHINGTON The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has modified its process to request new service suppliers for the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC pronounced LANCE).

    The FAA began considering applicants beyond the current 14 suppliers on January 7. The initial application period has now been extended to increase participation, and the agency has revised all key dates this year for the application process. Also, there will now be only one application period in 2019 instead of two.

    A major reason for the changes is the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act, under which the Agency is tasked with expanding the LAANC capability. Existing and potential unmanned aircraft system service suppliers are expected to broaden the scope of their applications to include these changes, so the entire selection process will take 10 months, not five as previously announced.

    The new schedule is:

    • January 7 March 18
      Application period
    • March 19 May 26
      FAA submission review
    • May 27 August 16
      Technical interviews
    • August 17 October 21
      Formal selection and startup

    Interested parties should reviewinformation on the application process.

    LAANC provides near real-time processing of airspace authorization and notification requests for Part 107 drone operators nationwide. The system is designed to automatically approve most requests to operate in specific areas of controlled airspace below designated altitudes.

    Through approved LAANC UAS Service Suppliers, drone operators can interact with industry developed applications and obtain near real-time authorization from the FAA. Requests are checked against multiple airspace data sources in the FAA UAS Data Exchange such as temporary flight restrictions, NOTAMS and the UAS Facility Maps. If approved, pilots receive their authorization in near-real time.

  • News and Updates - FAA Makes Major Drone ID Marking Change Wed, 13 Feb 2019 13:39:52 EST

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has posted a rule in the Federal Register requiring small drone owners to display the FAA-issued registration number on an outside surface of the aircraft. Owners and operators may no longer place or write registration numbers in an interior compartment. The rule is effective on February 25. The markings must be in place for any flight after that date.

    When the FAA first required registration of small drones in 2015, the agency mandated that the registration marking be readily accessible and maintained in readable condition. The rule granted some flexibility by permitting the marking to be placed in an enclosed compartment, such as a battery case, if it could be accessed without the use of tools.

    Subsequently, law enforcement officials and the FAAs interagency security partners have expressed concerns about the risk a concealed explosive device might pose to first responders upon opening a compartment to find a drones registration number. The FAA believes this action will enhance safety and security by allowing a person to view the unique identifier directly without handling the drone.

    This interim final rule does not change the original acceptable methods of external marking, nor does it specify a particular external surface on which the registration number must be placed. The requirement is that it can be seen upon visual inspection of the aircrafts exterior.

    The FAA has issued this requirement as an Interim Final Rulea rule that takes effect while also inviting public comment. The FAA issues interim final rules when delaying implementation of the rule would be impractical, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. In this case, the agency has determined the importance of mitigating the risk to first responders outweighs the minimal inconvenience this change may impose on small drone owners, and justifies implementation without a prior public comment period.

    The FAA will consider comments from the public on this Interim Final Rule, and will then review any submissions to determine if the provisions of the ultimate Final Rule should be changed. The 30-day comment period will end on March 15, 2019. To submit comments, go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for RIN 2120-AL32.

    As Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao promised last month, today the FAA also posted proposed new rules to let drones fly routinely at night and over people, and to further integrate them safely into the nations airspace. The comment period for these proposals begins tomorrow and will end April 15.

  • News and Updates - DOT to Award Astronaut Wings for Epic Flight Tue, 05 Feb 2019 17:16:20 EST

    DOT/FAA officials recognize the crew of SpaceShipTwo with FAA Astronaut Wings.

  • News and Updates - FAA Statement on Continuing Operations of the FAA During a Lapse in Appropriations Fri, 01 Feb 2019 14:20:38 EST

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the primary agency responsible for the safe and efficient use of the national airspace. In carrying out its vital aviation safety mission, the FAA maintains a complex, interrelated system of oversight, approvals, reviews, and renewals that allow an integrated network of regulated individuals, air carriers, and others to continue safe operations in the airspace.

    It is appropriate and lawful for the FAA to perform many of these safety-related functions notwithstanding a lapse in appropriations, because their continuation is justified to maintain the safety of life and protection of property, as provided by the Anti-Deficiency Act (ADA), 31 U.S.C. 1342. For example, during lapses in appropriations, the FAA has always maintained its air traffic control functions, and when a lapse extends beyond a few days, the FAAs risk-based safety oversight of the aviation industry requires the resumption of additional functions.

    During an extended lapse, the FAA continually reevaluates the scope of functions that are designated as excepted and appropriate to be maintained during the lapse for the protection of life and property. In the midst of the recently concluded lapse, on January14, 2019, the FAA posted an amended shutdown plan to add the following four categories of functions to those previously designated as excepted:

    • Airmen medical certifications.
    • Certain evaluations, audits, inspections, and other safety certification activities, including the issuance of airworthiness certificates required for the delivery of new and modified airplanes and airplane components and certifications for the operation of new or modified aircraft.
    • Processing and approval of applications for commercial space launch and reentry licenses, in addition to the safety oversight of previously licensed commercial space launches.
    • Processing and approval of requests for waivers for commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems.

    Following amendment of the shutdown plan, the FAA began to recall furloughed employees through a series of recalls, as necessary to carry out these additional excepted functions.

    The January 14 amendments to the FAAs shutdown plan were reviewed and approved within the Executive Branch in accordance with established policies that apply during lapses in appropriations. The FAAs actions in carrying out the amended plan were fully consistent with the longstanding guidance of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) of the U.S. Department of Justice. See OMB Mem. M-18-05, Planning for Agency Operations during a Potential Lapse in Appropriations (Jan.19, 2018); Government Operations in the Event of a Lapse in Appropriations, Supp. Op. O.L.C. (Aug.16, 1995), https://www.justice.gov/opinion/file/ 844116/download (1995 OLC Opinion). They were supported by a straightforward extension of OLCs past guidance concerning the FAAs safety-related responsibilities over the operation of the national airspace.

    The 1995 OLC Opinion recognized that it is appropriate for the FAA to continue its air traffic control functions during a lapse under the ADAs exception for activities needed to protect the safety of life and property. See id. at 5. OLC observed that the practice of past administrations has been to assume the continued operation of the private economy [during the lapse], and so air traffic controllers, meat inspectors, and other similarly situated personnel have been considered to be within the emergency exception of section 1342. Id.

    Todays private economy includes not only the operation of existing airplanes in the air traffic control system, but also the bringing of new aircraft into service, the updating of aviation equipment, the medical certification of airmen, the safe operation of unmanned aircraft systems, and the safe conduct of commercial space launches and reentries. Under OLCs guidance, these activities are assumed to continue during the lapse, and the FAAs supervision is necessary to ensure that they occur in a way that will not cause an imminent threat to human life.

    There is no doubt that the operation of todays national airspace in the U.S., as compared to the system of even the relatively recent past, is more varied and challenging. The increasing use of unmanned aircraft systems and the increasing number of commercial space launches, for example, pose new complexities for the safe and efficient use of airspace. The scope of excepted activities required to ensure the continued safety of life and property in civil aviation in 2019 necessarily must cover the current national airspace system, not the system of the past. Furthermore, the length of the recent lapse in appropriations required the FAA to operate in an environment not experienced in prior lapsesone in which contingencies that were not expected at the outset of the lapse became increasingly likely as the lapse in appropriations continued.

    Reflecting these differences, the FAAs shutdown planning has evolved over time. Through 2009, the FAA designated its entire aviation inspection workforce as excepted and furloughed only a few of those inspectors. During the lapse in appropriations that occurred in 2013, on the other hand, the FAA initially furloughed a much greater portion of its aviation safety workforce, but eventually, as the lapse continued, the FAA recalled a large number of these employees. Most of the recalls of safety inspectors and other aviation safety employees conducted by the FAA in furtherance of the January 14 amendments were consistent with the recalls eventually made in 2013. Others reflected a new recognition that the national airspace of today is more complex than it once was.

    These expanded recalls are to be expected, based on the FAAs operational experience. The longer a lapse in appropriations continues, the morenot the fewerFAA safety personnel are needed to maintain the safe operation of the national airspace. The longer the lapse, the greater the need for the FAA to manage risk by providing inspection, certification, and other services to aircraft, airmen, and air carriers. As the national airspace expands and evolves to encompass new aircraft, commercial space operations, and unmanned aircraft systems, the FAAs operations must keep pace to ensure the continued safety of the system as a whole, and not just the system as it once existed.

    With foresight and proper planning, the FAA took the right steps in full compliance with the law to ensure that the necessary personnel were on the job during the lapse to maintain the safe operation of Americas vital national airspace.

  • News and Updates - Atlanta is a "No Drone Zone" During Super Bowl LIII Thu, 24 Jan 2019 15:43:06 EST

    The airspace around Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta is a No Drone Zone for Super Bowl LIII, on Feb. 3, 2019, and during three days leading up to the event.

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will establish a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) on game day that will prohibit drones within a 30-nautical-mile radius of the stadium up to 17,999 feet in altitude. The TFR will be in place from 5:30 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. Some general aviation operations may be allowed within the TFR provided they meet specific security and operational requirements.

    The FAA also will restrict drone flights for one nautical mile around the stadium up to an altitude of 1,000 feet on January 31, February 1 and 2 from 10 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, and on February 3 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., at which time the TFR for the game takes effect. Further details are available in the drone TFRs. Please see NOTAM numbers 9/5085 and 9/5087-5089.

    Pilots and drone operators who enter the TFRs without permission could face civil penalties that exceed $20,000 and potential criminal prosecution for flying drones in the TFR.

    Detailed information for general aviation and drone pilots is available at FAA's Super Bowl LIII webpage.

    Drone pilots should check the FAAs B4UFly app to determine when and where they may fly. To highlight the No Drone Zone, the FAA produced a 20-second video encouraging Super Bowl fans to bring their lucky jerseys, face paint and team spirit to the game but leave their drones at home because the stadium and the area around it is a No Drone Zone.

  • News and Updates - U.S. DOT Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announces Several New Drone Initiatives Mon, 14 Jan 2019 13:00:15 EST

    New initiatives encourage the safe testing and deployment of drones.

  • News and Updates - FAA Statement: Safety is the top priority for the FAA Thu, 10 Jan 2019 16:31:15 EST

    Safety is the top priority for the FAA. Air traffic controllers and the technicians who maintain the nations airspace system continue to serve their critical mission to ensure the publics safety.We are allocating resources based on risk assessment to meet all safety critical functions. If we identify an issue, we recall inspectors and engineers to address it. We sincerely thank FAA employees who are working to keep the traveling public and our skies safe.

NOTE: The information above is presented as is. We can take no reponsibility for errors occured in the transmission of this feed.