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Is it easy to operate a sUAS during fire department operations?
Conditions at a fire scene are much different than in an open field. As with most things, training and practice make the skills for operating a UAS much easier. That said, fire department remote sUAS pilots should hone their skills for the specific challenges faced during fire department operations such as scene size-up, search and rescue, hazmat incidents, pre-planning, and large scale events. UAS Fire Consulting LLC can train fire departments how to use their sUAS effectively and efficiently in each of these situations.
Can my fire department buy a sUAS and just start flying it for fire department operations?
The simple answer is ... No. There is much to know when it comes to flying your sUAS for departmental operations. Just like with fighting fires, education and training are major factors in making sure sUAS operations are done properly. One must become familiar with the existing regulations as well as know how to read and understand the nation's airspace, especially where department operations are planning to take place. Additionally, a department should develop various UAS policies that coincide with existing regulations and departmental SOPs.
How does a fire department get permission to fly their sUAS?
A fire department can go through two main processes to gain FAA approval to fly their sUAS in the nation's airspace. One process is referred to as a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA). The other is referred to simply by most people as Part 107.