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National Agricultural Aviation Association eNewsletter
Voice of the Aerial Application Industry
August 10, 2023
FAA Responds to NAAA’s Concerns with New Part 137 UAS Certification Process
On August 2nd, NAAA received a letter from Lawrence Fields, Acting Executive Director, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) responding to concerns expressed by the association regarding the changes to the Part 137 certification process for Uncrewed Aircraft System (UAS) applicants outlined in FAA Notice 8900.659. This newsletter previously published a summary of the Notice as well as NAAA’s concerns expressed to the FAA.   
In this response letter, the FAA cited the backlog of Part 137 UAS applicants awaiting certification as the driver for the changes and contended that FAA’s Flight Standards Service had considered the possible risks and determined this course as the most effective use of Inspector resources in service to the public. They pointed to specific risk mitigations in place such as only allowing Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) operations, requiring UAS to always yield the right-of-way to all crewed aircraft operations, limitations to altitude and the requirement to file Notices to Air Missions. They do not, however, specifically address who was considered in these risk analyses, nor acknowledge Part 137 crewed operators as primary risk bearers of Part 137 UAS operations. 
The FAA also did not address NAAA’s concerns regarding the potential stratification of Part 137 operations resulting from geographically adjacent operations dealing with different FAA officials/offices. They did note, however, that all Part 137 UAS operators are entered into the Enhanced Flight Standards Automation System, which would enable local FSDOs’ engagement if surveillance or other action is required. 
The agency’s response, while not complete in addressing all NAAA’s concerns, shows that the interests of the agricultural aviation industry are being heard and considered by the FAA. This is significant, considering the immense lobbying pressure exerted on them by deep pocketed UAS interests. Quoting the letter: “The FAA will always monitor the on-going risk and incidents involving these Part 137 UAS (only) operations and will adjust if circumstances warrant it.”  View the FAA response letter here.
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This newsletter is intended for NAAA members only. NAAA requests that should any party desire to publish, distribute or quote any part of this newsletter that they first seek the permission of the Association. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA), its Board of Directors, staff or membership. Items in this newsletter are not the result of paid advertising and are only meant to highlight newsworthy developments. No endorsement by NAAA is intended or implied.
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Sept. 5-8

Operation S.A.F.E. Analyst Training 

WRK of Arkansas

Lonoke, AR

Dennis Gardisser 

(501) 676-1762


Oct. 3-5

2023 RPAAS Workshop (Remotely Piloted Aerial Application Systems)

(In Person + Virtual + On Demand) 

University of California, Davis

Davis, CA


Oct. 5-7

NAAA & NAAREF Board Meetings

Marriott at the University of Dayton (meetings at Dayton Convention Center)

Dayton, OH

Lauren Henretty

(202) 546-5722


Full Calendar of Events




Ag Aviation Expo Hotel Info
NAAA Award Nomination Form
GPS Data Collection Project to Protect Ag Aircraft from Drones
Certified-Professional Aerial Applicator Safety Steward
(C-PAASS) Program

DropFlight App Makes Spray Pattern Testing a Snap
2023 NAAA “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship
2023 Charles Stokes Memorial Turbine Training Scholarship
Agriculture’s Air Force Book
100th Anniversary Press Room
Aerial Applicators’ Growing Role Video Download Files
Agricultural Aviation Mag.
NAAA/NAAREF Safety Videos
Turn Smart: Respect the Safety Margin Video
NAAA Media Relations Kit
Customizable Aerial Application DIY Press Releases
NPDES PGP Compliance Tools
Shooting-Response Checklist
NAAA UAV Encounter Checklist
Tower Outreach Tools
Tower Marking Warning Letters
NAAA UAV Safety Stuffers
NAAA Professional Operating Guidelines Booklet
Aerial Applicator’s Manual
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