One of the major issues facing Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) integration into the National Airspace System (NAS) is pilot qualification. To date UAS flights are only conducted in special use airspace or with individual and non-standardized approval. The only printed pilot qualification requirements come from the 2008 Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Interim Operational Approval Guidance 08-0 I. Although this interim guidance is an important first step it is time to align UAS pilot qualification with the requirements for manned and model aircraft. UAS Operators and pilots could be incorporated into the NAS under current regulations that govern pilot qualification, by modifying the standards and classification currently used by the U.S. Department of Defense. The FAA needs to make only minor changes to the existing Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) and certify UAS operators by using type ratings.
Scholarly Commons Citation
The Future of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Pilot Qualification.
Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research, 22(3).