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Graduate Student Works

Advisor Name

Robert E. Joslin, Ph.D.


With over 100,000 remote pilots in the United States, individuals and companies are rapidly incorporating unmanned aircraft system technologies into their everyday life and businesses models. The companies that use these technologies must comply with federal and state regulations in order to maintain a safe environment to operate. These operations must also be accepted by the general public. Since the FAA regulations for small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) went into effect in 2016, supplemented by additional state and/or local requirements, some companies have generated operations manuals (OM) to ensure consistent, safe flight that meets these requirements. By analyzing the OM’s of 35 companies from various industry sectors, companies can use these findings to improve their processes for recency of flight experience, additional training and knowledge beyond 14 C.F.R. Part 107 requirements, privacy concerns, and the execution of emergency procedures. The findings conclude that of the companies who impose currency requirements, 59% are defaulting to the manned aircraft requirements and 77% are mandating additional initial training. Fifty-nine percent had emergency procedures incorporated into the OM, but only 24% of companies would meet the requirements for the Trusted Operator Program Level 3 certification. Addressing the privacy concerns of the public was more prevalent in state agencies than Federal or local agencies.

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Worldwide Campus