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e-CFR data is current as of March 4, 2021

Amendment


14 CFR--PART 107

View Printed Federal Register page 86 FR 4383 in PDF format.

Amendment(s) published January 15, 2021, in 86 FR 4383

Effective Dates: Mar. 16, 2021

24. Add new subpart D to read as follows:


Subpart D—Operations Over Human Beings

107.100   Applicability.

107.105   Limitations on operations over human beings.

107.110   Category 1 operations.

107.115   Category 2 operations: Operating requirements.

107.120   Category 2 operations: Eligibility of small unmanned aircraft and other applicant requirements.

107.125   Category 3 operations: Operating requirements.

107.130   Category 3 operations: Eligibility of small unmanned aircraft and other applicant requirements.

107.135   Labeling by remote pilot in command for Category 2 and 3 operations.

107.140   Category 4 operations.

107.145   Operations over moving vehicles.

107.150   Variable mode and variable configuration of small unmanned aircraft.

107.155   Means of compliance.

107.160   Declaration of compliance.

107.165   Record retention.


§107.100   Applicability.

This subpart prescribes the eligibility and operating requirements for civil small unmanned aircraft to operate over human beings or over moving vehicles in the United States, in addition to those operations permitted by §107.39(a) and (b).

§107.105   Limitations on operations over human beings.

Except as provided in §§107.39(a) and (b) and 107.145, a remote pilot in command may conduct operations over human beings only in accordance with the following, as applicable: §107.110 for Category 1 operations; §§107.115 and 107.120 for Category 2 operations; §§107.125 and 107.130 for Category 3 operations; or §107.140 for Category 4 operations.

§107.110   Category 1 operations.

To conduct Category 1 operations—

(a) A remote pilot in command must use a small unmanned aircraft that—

(1) Weighs 0.55 pounds or less on takeoff and throughout the duration of each operation under Category 1, including everything that is on board or otherwise attached to the aircraft; and

(b) Does not contain any exposed rotating parts that would lacerate human skin upon impact with a human being.

(c) No remote pilot in command may operate a small unmanned aircraft in sustained flight over open-air assemblies of human beings unless the operation meets the requirements of either §89.110 or §89.115(a) of this chapter.

§107.115   Category 2 operations: Operating requirements.

To conduct Category 2 operations—

(a) A remote pilot in command must use a small unmanned aircraft that—

(1) Is eligible for Category 2 operations pursuant to §107.120(a);

(2) Is listed on an FAA-accepted declaration of compliance as eligible for Category 2 operations in accordance with §107.160; and

(3) Is labeled as eligible to conduct Category 2 operations in accordance with §107.120(b)(1).

(b) No remote pilot in command may operate a small unmanned aircraft in sustained flight over open-air assemblies of human beings unless the operation meets the requirements of either §89.110 or §89.115(a) of this chapter.

§107.120   Category 2 operations: Eligibility of small unmanned aircraft and other applicant requirements.

(a) To be eligible for use in Category 2 operations, the small unmanned aircraft must be designed, produced, or modified such that it—

(1) Will not cause injury to a human being that is equivalent to or greater than the severity of injury caused by a transfer of 11 foot-pounds of kinetic energy upon impact from a rigid object;

(2) Does not contain any exposed rotating parts that would lacerate human skin upon impact with a human being; and

(3) Does not contain any safety defects.

(b) The applicant for a declaration of compliance for a small unmanned aircraft that is eligible for use in Category 2 operations in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section, must meet all of the following requirements for the applicant's unmanned aircraft to be used in Category 2 operations:

(1) Display a label on the small unmanned aircraft indicating eligibility to conduct Category 2 operations. The label must be in English and be legible, prominent, and permanently affixed to the small unmanned aircraft.

(2) Have remote pilot operating instructions that apply to the operation of the small unmanned aircraft system. The applicant for a declaration of compliance must make available these instructions upon sale or transfer of the aircraft or use of the aircraft by someone other than the applicant who submitted a declaration of compliance pursuant to §107.160. Such instructions must address, at a minimum—

(i) A system description that includes the required small unmanned aircraft system components, any system limitations, and the declared category or categories of operation;

(ii) Modifications that will not change the ability of the small unmanned aircraft system to meet the requirements for the category or categories of operation the small unmanned aircraft system is eligible to conduct; and

(iii) Instructions for how to verify and change the mode or configuration of the small unmanned aircraft system, if they are variable.

(3) Maintain a product support and notification process. The applicant for a declaration of compliance must maintain product support and notification procedures to notify the public and the FAA of—

(i) Any defect or condition that causes the small unmanned aircraft to no longer meet the requirements of this subpart; and

(ii) Any identified safety defect that causes the small unmanned aircraft to exceed a low probability of casualty.

§107.125   Category 3 operations: Operating requirements.

To conduct Category 3 operations, a remote pilot in command—

(a) Must use a small unmanned aircraft that—

(1) Is eligible for Category 3 operations pursuant to §107.130(a);

(2) Is listed on a current declaration of compliance as eligible for Category 3 operations in accordance with §107.160; and

(3) Is labeled as eligible for Category 3 operations in accordance with §107.130(b)(1);

(b) Must not operate the small unmanned aircraft over open-air assemblies of human beings; and

(c) May only operate the small unmanned aircraft above any human being if operation meets one of the following conditions:

(1) The operation is within or over a closed- or restricted-access site and all human beings located within the closed- or restricted-access site must be on notice that a small unmanned aircraft may fly over them; or

(2) The small unmanned aircraft does not maintain sustained flight over any human being unless that human being is—

(i) Directly participating in the operation of the small unmanned aircraft; or

(ii) Located under a covered structure or inside a stationary vehicle that can provide reasonable protection from a falling small unmanned aircraft.

§107.130   Category 3 operations: Eligibility of small unmanned aircraft and other applicant requirements.

(a) To be eligible for use in Category 3 operations, the small unmanned aircraft must be designed, produced, or modified such that it—

(1) Will not cause injury to a human being that is equivalent to or greater than the severity of the injury caused by a transfer of 25 foot-pounds of kinetic energy upon impact from a rigid object;

(2) Does not contain any exposed rotating parts that would lacerate human skin upon impact with a human being; and

(3) Does not contain any safety defects.

(b) The applicant for a declaration of compliance for a small unmanned aircraft that is eligible for use in Category 3 operations in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section, must meet all of the following requirements for the applicant's small unmanned aircraft to be used in Category 3 operations:

(1) Display a label on the small unmanned aircraft indicating eligibility to conduct Category 3 operations. The label must be in English and be legible, prominent, and permanently affixed to the small unmanned aircraft.

(2) Have remote pilot operating instructions that apply to the operation of the small unmanned aircraft system. The applicant for a declaration of compliance must make available these instructions upon sale or transfer of the aircraft or use of the aircraft by someone other than the applicant who submitted a declaration of compliance pursuant to §107.160. Such instructions must address, at a minimum—

(i) A system description that includes the required small unmanned aircraft system components, any system limitations, and the declared category or categories of operation;

(ii) Modifications that will not change the ability of the small unmanned aircraft system to meet the requirements for the category or categories of operation the small unmanned aircraft system is eligible to conduct; and

(iii) Instructions for how to verify and change the mode or configuration of the small unmanned aircraft system, if they are variable.

(3) Maintain a product support and notification process. The applicant for a declaration of compliance must maintain product support and notification procedures to notify the public and the FAA of—

(i) Any defect or condition that causes the small unmanned aircraft to no longer meet the requirements of this subpart; and

(ii) Any identified safety defect that causes the small unmanned aircraft to exceed a low probability of fatality.

§107.135   Labeling by remote pilot in command for Category 2 and 3 operations.

If a Category 2 or Category 3 label affixed to a small unmanned aircraft is damaged, destroyed, or missing, a remote pilot in command must label the aircraft in English such that the label is legible, prominent, and will remain on the small unmanned aircraft for the duration of the operation before conducting operations over human beings. The label must correctly identify the category or categories of operation over human beings that the small unmanned aircraft is qualified to conduct in accordance with this subpart.

§107.140   Category 4 operations.

(a) Remote pilot in command requirements. To conduct Category 4 operations—

(1) A remote pilot in command—

(i) Must use a small unmanned aircraft that is eligible for Category 4 operations pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section; and

(ii) Must operate the small unmanned aircraft in accordance with all operating limitations that apply to the small unmanned aircraft, as specified by the Administrator.

(2) No remote pilot in command may operate a small unmanned aircraft in sustained flight over open-air assemblies of human beings unless the operation meets the requirements of either §89.110 or §89.115(a) of this chapter.

(b) Small unmanned aircraft requirements for Category 4. To be eligible to operate over human beings under this section, the small unmanned aircraft must—

(1) Have an airworthiness certificate issued under part 21 of this chapter.

(2) Be operated in accordance with the operating limitations specified in the approved Flight Manual or as otherwise specified by the Administrator. The operating limitations must not prohibit operations over human beings.

(3) Have maintenance, preventive maintenance, alterations, or inspections performed in accordance with paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(c) Maintenance requirements for Category 4. The owner must (unless the owner enters into an agreement with an operator to meet the requirements of this paragraph (c), then the operator must) meet the requirements of this paragraph (c):

(1) Ensure the person performing any maintenance, preventive maintenance, alterations, or inspections:

(i) Uses the methods, techniques, and practices prescribed in the manufacturer's current maintenance manual or Instructions for Continued Airworthiness that are acceptable to the Administrator, or other methods, techniques, and practices acceptable to the Administrator;

(ii) Has the knowledge, skill, and appropriate equipment to perform the work;

(iii) Performs the maintenance, preventive maintenance, or alterations on the small unmanned aircraft in a manner using the methods, techniques, and practices prescribed in the manufacturer's current maintenance manual or Instructions for Continued Airworthiness prepared by its manufacturer, or other methods, techniques, and practices acceptable to the Administrator;

(iv) Inspects the small unmanned aircraft in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions or other instructions acceptable to the Administrator; and

(v) Performs the maintenance, preventive maintenance, or alterations using parts of such a quality that the condition of the aircraft will be at least equal to its original or properly altered condition.

(2) Maintain all records of maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations performed on the aircraft and ensure the records are documented in a manner acceptable to the Administrator. The records must contain the description of the work performed, the date the work was completed, and the name of the person who performed the work.

(3) Maintain all records containing—

(i) The status of life-limited parts that are installed on, or part of, the small unmanned aircraft;

(ii) The inspection status of the aircraft; and

(iii) The status of applicable airworthiness directives including the method of compliance, the airworthiness directive number, and revision date. If the airworthiness directive involves recurring action, the record must contain the time and date of the next required action.

(4) Retain the records required under paragraphs (c)(2) and (3) of this section, as follows:

(i) The records documenting maintenance, preventive maintenance, or alterations performed must be retained for 1 year from when the work is completed or until the maintenance is repeated or superseded by other work.

(ii) The records documenting the status of life-limited parts, compliance with airworthiness directives, and inspection status of the small unmanned aircraft must be retained and transferred with the aircraft upon change in ownership.

(5) Ensure all records under paragraphs (c)(2) and (3) of this section are available for inspection upon request from the Administrator or any authorized representative of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

(d) Compliance with parts 43 and 91 of this chapter. Compliance with part 43 and part 91, subpart E, of this chapter fulfills the requirements in paragraphs (b)(4) and (c) of this section.

§107.145   Operations over moving vehicles.

No person may operate a small unmanned aircraft over a human being located inside a moving vehicle unless the following conditions are met:

(a) The operation occurs in accordance with §107.110 for Category 1 operations; §107.115 for Category 2 operations; §107.125 for Category 3 operations; or §107.140 for Category 4 operations.

(b) For an operation under Category 1, Category 2, or Category 3, the small unmanned aircraft, throughout the operation—

(1) Must remain within or over a closed- or restricted-access site, and all human beings located inside a moving vehicle within the closed- or restricted-access site must be on notice that a small unmanned aircraft may fly over them; or

(2) Must not maintain sustained flight over moving vehicles.

(c) For a Category 4 operation, the small unmanned aircraft must—

(1) Have an airworthiness certificate issued under part 21 of this chapter.

(2) Be operated in accordance with the operating limitations specified in the approved Flight Manual or as otherwise specified by the Administrator. The operating limitations must not prohibit operations over human beings located inside moving vehicles.

§107.150   Variable mode and variable configuration of small unmanned aircraft systems.

A small unmanned aircraft system may be eligible for one or more categories of operation over human beings under this subpart, as long as a remote pilot in command cannot inadvertently switch between modes or configurations.

§107.155   Means of compliance.

(a) Establishment of compliance. To meet the requirements of §107.120(a) for operations in Category 2, or the requirements of §107.130(a) for operations in Category 3, the means of compliance must consist of test, analysis, or inspection.

(b) Required information. An applicant requesting FAA acceptance of a means of compliance must submit the following information to the FAA in a manner specified by the Administrator:

(1) Procedures. Detailed description of the means of compliance, including applicable test, analysis, or inspection procedures to demonstrate how the small unmanned aircraft meets the requirements of §107.120(a) for operations in Category 2 or the requirements of §107.130(a) for operations in Category 3. The description should include conditions, environments, and methods, as applicable.

(2) Compliance explanation. Explanation of how application of the means of compliance fulfills the requirements of §107.120(a) for operations in Category 2 or the requirements of §107.130(a) for operations in Category 3.

(c) FAA acceptance. If the FAA determines the applicant has demonstrated compliance with paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, it will notify the applicant that it has accepted the means of compliance.

(d) Rescission. (1) A means of compliance is subject to ongoing review by the Administrator. The Administrator may rescind its acceptance of a means of compliance if the Administrator determines that a means of compliance does not meet any or all of the requirements of this subpart.

(2) The Administrator will publish a notice of rescission in the Federal Register.

(e) Inapplicability of part 13, subpart D, of this chapter. Part 13, subpart D, of this chapter does not apply to the procedures of paragraph (a) of this section.

§107.160   Declaration of compliance.

(a) Required information. In order for an applicant to declare a small unmanned aircraft is compliant with the requirements of this subpart for Category 2 or Category 3 operations, an applicant must submit a declaration of compliance for acceptance by the FAA, in a manner specified by the Administrator, that includes the following information:

(1) Applicant's name;

(2) Applicant's physical address;

(3) Applicant's email address;

(4) The small unmanned aircraft make and model name, and series, if applicable;

(5) The small unmanned aircraft serial number or range of serial numbers that are the subject of the declaration of compliance;

(6) Whether the declaration of compliance is an initial declaration or an amended declaration;

(7) If the declaration of compliance is an amended declaration, the reason for the re-submittal;

(8) The accepted means of compliance the applicant used to fulfill requirements of §107.120(a) or §107.130(a) or both;

(9) A declaration that the applicant—

(i) Has demonstrated that the small unmanned aircraft, or specific configurations of that aircraft, satisfies §107.120(a) or §107.130(a) or both, through the accepted means of compliance identified in paragraph (a)(8) of this section;

(ii) Has verified that the unmanned aircraft does not contain any safety defects;

(iii) Has satisfied §107.120(b)(3) or §107.130(b)(3), or both; and

(iv) Will, upon request, allow the Administrator to inspect its facilities, technical data, and any manufactured small unmanned aircraft and witness any tests necessary to determine compliance with this subpart; and

(10) Other information as required by the Administrator.

(b) FAA acceptance. If the FAA determines the applicant has demonstrated compliance with the requirements of this subpart, it will notify the applicant that it has accepted the declaration of compliance.

(c) Notification of a safety issue. Prior to initiating rescission proceedings pursuant to paragraphs (d)(1) through (3) of this section, the FAA will notify the applicant if a safety issue has been identified for the declaration of compliance.

(d) Rescission. (1) No person may operate a small unmanned aircraft identified on a declaration of compliance that the FAA has rescinded pursuant to this subpart while that declaration of compliance is rescinded.

(2) The FAA may rescind a declaration of compliance if any of the following conditions occur:

(i) A small unmanned aircraft for which a declaration of compliance was accepted no longer complies with §107.120(a) or §107.130(a);

(ii) The FAA finds a declaration of compliance is in violation of §107.5(a); or

(iii) The Administrator determines an emergency exists related to safety in accordance with the authority in 49 U.S.C. 46105.

(3) If a safety issue identified under paragraph (c) of this section has not been resolved, the FAA may rescind the declaration of compliance as follows:

(i) The FAA will issue a notice proposing to rescind the declaration of compliance. The notice will set forth the Agency's basis for the proposed rescission and provide the holder of the declaration of compliance with 30 calendar days from the date of issuance of the proposed notice to submit evidentiary information to refute the proposed notice.

(ii) The holder of the declaration of compliance must submit information demonstrating how the small unmanned aircraft meets the requirements of this subpart within 30 calendar days from the date of issuance of the proposed notice.

(iii) If the FAA does not receive the information required by paragraph (d)(3)(ii) of this section within 30 calendar days from the date of the issuance of the proposed notice, the FAA will issue a notice rescinding the declaration of compliance.

(4) If the Administrator determines that an emergency exists in accordance with paragraph (d)(2)(iii) of this section, the FAA will exercise its authority under 49 U.S.C. 46105(c) to issue an order rescinding a declaration of compliance without initiating the process in paragraph (d)(3) of this section.

(e) Petition to reconsider the rescission of a declaration of compliance. A person subject to an order of rescission under paragraph (d)(3) of this section may petition the FAA to reconsider the rescission of a declaration of compliance by submitting a request to the FAA in a manner specified by the Administrator within 60 days of the date of issuance of the rescission.

(1) A petition to reconsider the rescission of a declaration of compliance must demonstrate at least one of the following:

(i) A material fact that was not present in the original response to the notification of the safety issue and an explanation for why it was not present in the original response;

(ii) The FAA made a material factual error in the decision to rescind the declaration of compliance; or

(iii) The FAA did not correctly interpret a law, regulation, or precedent.

(2) Upon consideration of the information submitted under paragraph (e)(1) of this section, the FAA will issue a notice either affirming the rescission or withdrawing the rescission.

(f) Inapplicability of part 13, subpart D, of this chapter. Part 13, subpart D, of this chapter does not apply to the procedures of paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section.

§107.165   Record retention.

(a) A person who submits a declaration of compliance under this subpart must retain and make available to the Administrator, upon request, the information described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section for the period of time described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

(1) All supporting information used to demonstrate the small unmanned aircraft meets the requirements of §§107.120(a), for operations in Category 2, and 107.130(a), for operations in Category 3.

(2) The following time periods apply:

(i) If the person who submits a declaration of compliance produces a small unmanned aircraft, that person must retain the information described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section for two years after the cessation of production of the small unmanned aircraft system for which the person declared compliance.

(ii) If the person who submits a declaration of compliance designs or modifies a small unmanned aircraft, that person must retain the information described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section for two years after the person submitted the declaration of compliance.

(b) A person who submits a means of compliance under this subpart must retain and make available to the Administrator, upon request, and for as long as the means of compliance remains accepted, the detailed description of the means of compliance and justification showing how the means of compliance meets the requirements of §§107.120(a), for operations in Category 2, and 107.130(a), for operations in Category 3.

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