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OIG Audit of the FAA on UAS Oversight

Thursday, December 8, 2016 08:32

The U.S. Department of Transportations' Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted an audit of the FAA's oversight on the integration of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) into the nation's airspace.  The audit, released on December 1, 2016 includes the following recommendations:

  1. Initiate a periodic process to perform inspections of commercial UAS operators based on operational factors (e.g., location, number of operations, and type ofactivity) to verify knowledge of and compliance with FAA requirements and to inform the development of a risk-based oversight plan.
  2. Establish specific milestones to update and maintain UAS guidance to keep pace with technological developments and incorporate inspector feedback.
  3. Develop comprehensive and updated training for safety inspectors on UAS technologies and Agency rules and guidance related to UAS oversight.
  4. Design and implement a risk-based and prioritized oversight plan for UAS to help ensure safe operations of UAS.
  5. Develop and implement a process to coordinate existing disparate UAS databaseswithin FAA to facilitate data mining and safety analysis.
  6. Implement a process to share UAS data with field oversight offices to assist inspectors in risk-based and proactive oversight of civil UAS operations.

FAA Lacks a Risk-Based Oversight Process for Civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems