As a follow-on, another pathfinder project has begun with a manufacturer for standard certification of a UAS, with initial planning to be completed in 2014, unique certification requirements to be identified by 2015 and airworthiness approval to be completed by 2017.
The FAA plans to publish the much-delayed notice of proposed rulemaking for the small UAS rule early in 2014. This will set requirements for training and operation, and require the use of consensus standards for self-certification being developed by ASTM.
FAA approval of ground-based sense-and-avoid systems is planned for the third quarter of 2015 at U.S. Defense Department sites and from 2016-18 for educational and public use at other locations.
Initial certification of airborne sense-and-avoid (ABSAA) is planned for 2016-2020. An initial industry proposal for a pathfinder program is expected in the second quarter of 2014, with the FAA to detail any issues and actions by second quarter 2015.
Preliminary “Phase 1” minimum operational performance standards (MOPS) for ABSAA, being developed by standards body RTCA, are planned for the third quarter of 2015 and will be aimed at civil UAS operating in Class A airspace under instrument flight rules.
The final Phase 1 MOPS are scheduled to be released in the third quarter of 2016, with the FAA technical standard order (TSO) allowing ABSAA equipment to be manufactured commercially by the first quarter of 2017.
MOPS for the Phase 1 line-of-sight command-and-control (C2) datalink are to be released by the third quarter of 2016, with TSOs to follow in 2016-17. MOPS and TSOs for the Phase 2 beyond-line-of-sight C2 link are scheduled to follow agreement on satellite spectrum at the 2015 World Radio Conference.