UAS Section 333 FAQs (latest version 01/29/2015)

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This section gives answers to some frequently asked questions about the Petition for Exemption under Section 333 process:

Q. What is a petition for exemption?
A. A petition for exemption is a request to the FAA by an individual or entity asking for relief from the requirements of a current regulation.
Q. Where can I find guidance to submit a Petition for Exemption?
A. Guidelines for submitting a petition for exemption are available at http://aes.faa.gov/Petition/home.html. This website details the general exemption process for filing any petition for exemption, and it provides answers to frequently asked questions.
Q. Is it true I need to petition the FAA for an exemption to fly a civil UAS?
A. Yes. Prior to commencing civil UAS operations, the operator will need to obtain an exemption under Section 333 and a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) from the FAA.
Q. How do I File a Petition for Exemption under Section 333?
A. Review the FAA's Section 333 Guidance (PDF) from the FAA's UAS Integration Office. This document provides guidance to people who are interested in submitting a petition for exemption to the FAA to operate unmanned aircraft in the National Airspace System (NAS). Specifically, this document outlines the FAA's exemption process and describes the information petitioners should submit to the FAA in a petition for exemption.
Q. Is there a fee for obtaining an exemption?
A. There is no fee for obtaining an exemption.
Q. Where can I find information about an Airworthiness Directive, an airspace designation, or a petition handled in a region?
A. The FAA electronic docket. If the information isn't in the docket, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in the Federal Register document about the action.
Q. If I submit a petition for exemption under Section 333 is that the same as applying for a COA?
A. No. The petition for exemption process is separate from the COA application process. Instructions for filing a petition for exemption under Section 333 are available at https://www.faa.gov/uas/beyond_the_basics/section_333/how_to_file_a_petition/. Instructions for applying for a COA are available on the UAS Civil COA Web site. Please note that an exemption number is required before a petitioner can apply for a COA.
Q. What form do I need to use for UAS Aircraft Registration?
A. The Aircraft Registration Application, AC Form 8050-1
Q. Where do I obtain an Aircraft Registration Application, AC Form 8050-1?
A. The Aircraft Registration Application, AC Form 8050-1, is not available for download. You must use an original Aircraft Registration Application, AC Form 8050-1. The FAA does not accept photocopies or computer-generated copies of this form. Aircraft Registration Applications may be obtained from the Aircraft Registration Branch by emailing http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftemail/aircraftemail.aspx, by phone: (866) 762-9434, Toll Free Long Distance (Local Oklahoma City Area (405) 954-3116) or your local FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO).
Q. What can I expect after submitting a Petition for Exemption under Section 333?
A. The FAA will evaluate your petition and send you its decision based on a full review of your request. An FAA grant or denial of exemption is based on the specifics of each situation.
Q. I just submitted a Petition for Exemption for my UAS. How can I get my submittal expedited to receive my FAA grant or denial of exemption?
A. The FAA requires a reasonable amount of time to conduct the study. Whenever possible, all efforts are made to handle proposals expeditiously.To inquire on the status of a petition for exemption, please email your inquiry to 333exemptions@faa.gov
Q. What can I do if the FAA denies my petition for exemption?
A. You can not apply for a COA. You may petition the FAA to reconsider its denial of your original petition. You must submit your request to the same address as your original petition and the FAA must receive your request within 60 days after the FAA issued the denial.
Q. Who's the FAA contact for the Section 333 process?
A. Further questions about the Section 333 process should be directed to 333exemptions@faa.gov.