Thursday, October 27, 2022

OMB Approves Update for FAA ICR for Drone Operations in Restricted Airspace

Yesterday, the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) announced that it had approved a revision to the DOT’s Federal Aviation Administration’s information collection request (ICR) for “Airspace Authorizations in Controlled Airspace under 49 U.S.C. 44809(a)(5) [link added]”. This supports the FAA’s requirement for unmanned aircraft system operators to request permission to fly UAS in certain controlled airspaces. Changes were made to the burden estimate based upon actual usage during the first three years of operations under this ICR.


Dramatic changes in burden estimates are not unusual for the first update of an ICR. The agency has to guess how many folks will be using the new system and may not have a strong basis for making that guess. So, a radical decrease, based upon three years of actual data makes a certain amount of sense. But…

There is no indication here that the FAA has gone back and done a study to see if the actual data reflects full compliance with the coordination requirements of the regulation, or if there are substantial instances of non-compliance. And to be fair, ICR notices are not really the place to discuss compliance investigations in any sort of detail, but it would be nice to see some notification that the FAA was investigating potential non-compliance issues as a response to those instances of non-compliance may have an impact on future burden estimates.


For more details about the ICR revision, including new burden estimates, see my article at CFSN Detailed Analysis - - subscription required.

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