Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued Hensel Phelps Construction Co. a Part 107 unmanned aerial system (UAS or drone) waiver to operate a parachute-equipped drone over people. However, the FAA clarified that while it granted the wavier for the use it did not certify or approve the parachute or the parachute system itself. The FAA only made a determination as to the safe operation of the drone.
This is the first time that the FAA collaborated with industry to develop a publicly available standard by working with a waiver applicant to make sure that the testing and data collected met the FAA’s safety standard for drone operations over people. The FAA stated that this process is scalable and may be available to other applicants who propose to use the same drone and parachute combination.