Federal Aviation Administration

FAA Order: Unmanned Aircraft Operations in the National Airspace System (NAS)


Purpose of This Notice. This notice provides information and interim guidance on air traffic policies and prescribes procedures for the planning, coordination, and services involving the operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the NAS. These policies and procedures reflect current written directives and regulations and do not reflect any major changes. The intent of this notice is to consolidate all current directives and regulations into one document to assist with understanding UAS operations in the NAS.

FAA Integration of Civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) Roadmap


Since the early 1990s, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) have operated on a limited basis in the National Airspace System (NAS). Until recently, UAS mainly supported public operations, such as military and border security operations. The list of potential uses is now rapidly expanding to encompass a broad range of other activities, including aerial photography, surveying land and crops, communications and broadcast, monitoring forest fires and environmental conditions, and protecting critical infrastructures. UAS provide new ways for commercial enterprises (civil operations) and public operators to enhance some of our nation’s aviation operations through increased operational efficiency and decreased costs, while maintaining the safety of the NAS.

(U//FOUO) FAA Airspace Management Plan for Disasters

The Airspace Management Plan for Disasters provides a nationally consistent framework and suite of supportive tools for the use of the Federal Aviation Administration’s air traffic and airspace management operational expertise and capabilities, as well as statutory authority, to enhance the safety and effectiveness (including unity of effort) of air missions supporting response and recovery efforts such as Search and Recue flights following a disaster. The plan also speaks to the use of these tools to safeguard persons and property on the ground. Additionally, this plan also helps to balance the needs of those response air missions with the agency’s concurrent effort to return the National Airspace System, which is critical to the U.S. economy and American way of life, to normal operations.

FAA Wide (WAAS) and Local Area Augmentation Systems (LAAS) Update

WAAS Navigation Services
•En Route and Terminal Area Navigation Services
–For Aircraft Departure, Arrival, and Domestic Airspace
–Supports All RNAV Categories
•Instrument Approach Services
–Lateral Navigation (LNAV)
LAAS Status
•Integrity Analysis and Prototype Development
–FAA GBAS prototype work under Honeywell Contract
–Hazardous Misleading Information (HMI) Analysis underway to validate GBAS architecture/design
•GBAS CAT I Approval Process
–System Design Approval for Honeywell architecture (SLS 4000) Planned to Complete by 2008