FAA Regulations concerning Drones
FAA.gov offers a thorough breakdown of federal laws concerning drones, drone operators, privileges and limitations affecting drones and drone operators. To make a long, detailed explanation short, here is the bottom line concerning Commercial Drone Operations:
- FAA Drone Operator Licensing. A Commercial Drone Operation must have 14 CFR Part 107 licensed Drone Operators. All UAS Crewmembers at Alpha are Part 107 Certificated.
- The 55-pound Drone Weight Restriction. All Drones are limited to 55 pounds at takeoff as per federal law. To operate drones greater than 55 pounds at takeoff, the Commercial Drone Operation must seek and receive specific exemptions relieving the company of such a restricting law. Alpha has successfully completed this rigorous process and has earned Exemption 44807 specifically for our Agras T16 Drone fleet. The Agras T16 is approved to takeoff at 92.7 pounds exclusively at Alpha Drones USA. Our C1 Cleaning Drone is tethered to a spray hose. As per the FAA, the Drone is restricted to lift 55 pounds of water hose. While the drone is capable of carrying water hose weight greater than 55 pounds, we calculate that the weight of the hose at 55 pounds is approximately 110 feet above ground level. Alpha is working with the FAA on relief from this restriction. Alpha continues to work with drone engineers and FAA safety regulators to offer drones that are capable and legally cleared to clean skyscrapers.
- Spraying chemicals from Drones. To dispense chemicals or any product from a drone, certification concerning 14 CFR Part 137 is required. Alpha’s Agriculture and “heavy drone fleet disinfecting programs” will benefit greatly from the Part 137 Certification. Alpha will launch Part 137 operations effective September 2021.
About Alpha’s Drone Fleet:
Alpha has a hybrid of owned and leased drones. Leased drones were strategically decided because of the state of the drone industry. The drone industry is just getting started at massive technological advances. At Alpha, we anticipate a newer, more capable technology evolving within a six to twelve month period. Therefore, Alpha has negotiated with drone engineers to stay ahead of cutting edge technology by automatically upgrading existing leased models for improved and newer technologies. While we enjoy owning specific drone models, once you buy a drone, it may be impossible to “trade in”. We therefore, do not want to lose our position as an industry leader in offering the latest and greatest technology.
Alpha’s Strategy Concerning Cleaning Skyscrapers
Alpha Drones USA is set to become the first drone operation to clean a skyscraper in the United States, and possibly the first globally. Alpha continues to work with drone engineers at establishing improvements and capabilities of drones. The technology currently available allows Alpha to clean a skyscraper with drones, but, FAA regulations limit how high the drones can go to perform such a revolutionary service. While Alpha continues to work with FAA safety regulators and drone engineers at “pioneering a new way”, Alpha recommends establishing a hybrid of “drone exterior building cleaning” with conventional window washing and exterior building cleaning.
Where the drones aren’t “legal” to clean a building per FAA, we recommend the old school, conventional way. But rest assured, our drone fleet will be cleared by the FAA to clean 100% of skyscrapers, and when that “100% clearance is issued”, the world will change quickly.
Alpha is already pioneering the way.