FAA updates flight guidance to support drones used in COVID-19 response efforts

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) updated its recommendations on drone use for COVID-19 response efforts on 14 April. The new guidance aims to support ongoing efforts to combat the pandemic with additional services including faster special approvals. According to an FAA press release:

“The FAA is enabling drone use for COVID-19 response efforts within our existing regulations and emergency procedures. Our small unmanned aircraft rule (Part 107) and Certificate of Authorisation process allow operators to transport goods and certain medical supplies–including test kits, most prescription drugs and, under certain circumstances, blood–provided the flight complies with all provisions of the rule or authorization. The FAA also issues special approvals , some in less than an hour, for flights that support emergency activities and appropriate government, health, or community initiatives. The agency’s Systems Operations Support Center is available 24/7 to process emergency requests. Safety is the top consideration as we review each request.”

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