TxDOT’S New State Aeronautical Chart has Arrived
The new Aeronautical Chart is now available at no cost to the public. The Aviation Division staff will be distributing copies as they travel around the state. For those of you that signed up for a copy during our conference, they are already on their way to you. Others that would like a copy contact our office at 512/416-4500 or 1-800/68-PILOT or visit the TxDOT website at http://www.dot.state.tx.us/apps-cg/registration-forms/AVN/aeronautical-chart-form.htm.
2015 Texas Aviation Conference
The 2015 Texas Aviation Conference recently held in San Marcos was a huge success. With 550 attendees, the conference was one of the largest in our 33 year history. The highlight of the conference was the Awards Banquet featuring the presentation of awards for exceptional service to aviation in Texas.
For the full list of award winners, please see the related cover story.
The 2016 Texas Aviation Conference will be held in Conroe on March 9th thru 11th. Please make plans to join us.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems
On February 15, 2015, FAA released a notice of proposed rulemaking for public comment which would allow commercial drones that weigh less than 55 pounds to be flown in the United States under certain conditions. The proposed rule limits flight to daylight and visual line-of-sight operations conducted by someone who is at least 17 years of age. Flights are limited to a maximum height of 500 feet, flying no faster than 100 miles per hour. The operator is required to see and avoid aircraft, taking action to prevent collisions. Drones cannot be flown over people except those conducting the flight. The operator of the drone must obtain an FAA UAS certificate by passing a knowledge test. Neither a pilot’s license nor an FAA medical certificate is required. The proposed rule maintains the existing prohibition against operating in a careless or reckless manner. It would also bar an operator from allowing any object to be dropped from the drone.
The comment period for this rule has now closed. Additional information will be provided as this process moves forward.