New FAA Process for Section 333 Exemption

June 13, 2015 1 Comment

It’s now easier than ever to get that coveted FAA Section 333 exemption. The FAA has recently established a temporary process to significantly speed up authorizations for applicants who wish to use their drone for commercial purposes. There are a few caveats however to gaining the faster approval.

Under the new policy, the FAA with grant a Certificate of Authorization (COA) to those applicants who meet the following requirements:

  • flights must take place at or below 200 feet
  • aircraft must weight less than 55 pounds
  • can only operate during daylight visual flight rules conditions (VFR)
  • can only operate within visual line of sight of the pilot
  • must stay certain distance from airports and heliports
    • 5 nautical miles (NM) from airports with operational control towers; or
    • 3 NM from an airport with a published instrument flight procedure, but not an operational tower; or
    • 2 NM from an airport without a published instrument flight procedure or an operational tower; or
    • 2  NM from a heliport with a published instrument flight procedure


Previously, it could take 6 months or longer to receive your COA. This new streamlined approached is expected to reduce the waiting time significantly. For more info, go to the FAA’s site by clicking HERE.

1 Response


July 22, 2015

Any news on how much faster the process is going now?

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