FAA Issues COVID-19 Update for Drone Operators


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The FAA issued Information for Operators (InFO) 20005 (PDF) last week which notifies operators of temporary changes to FAA policy on the use of short-term escalations (STE) to manage scheduled maintenance requirements affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency. Due to unanticipated situations (i.e., contractor scheduling, conflicts in weather, parts availability, or other unscheduled maintenance), operators may wish to adjust the interval temporarily for an individual aircraft, system, or component, according to the FAA.

The use of STEs provides operators with the flexibility to manage these scheduled maintenance intervals, while continuing to ensure the airworthiness of their aircraft. 

All operators subject to a Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance Program under 14 CFR § 91.1411, 14 CFR part 121, or 14 CFR § 135.411(a)(2) are eligible for STE authorizations.

Operators impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 public health emergency that currently hold STE authorization may request increased flexibility in their STE programs.

The FAA advises operators to direct any questions or comments to the Flight Standards Service, Aircraft Maintenance Division, by telephone at (202) 267-1675 or by email at 9-AWA-AFS-300- [email protected].

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