NATE unveils a safety resource for UAS in the Telecom Industry

The National Association of Tower Erectors,

“NATE”, unveiled a new resource on June 1, 2016 establishing safety guidelines for the commercial operation of unmanned aircraft around telecommunication towers and other vertical infrastructure. This resource was drafted with the best interest of the telecommunication industry in mind as a priority only secondary to the safety of all involved parties, operators and civilians alike. In the publication of this document, as well as in past and future operations, NATE has collaborated with both government policy makers and industry stakeholders. As the commercial drone industry grows, there will be further need for drone-specific safety guidelines and regulations. This resource is not a complete and final set of guidelines; rather it is a living document to be updated and supplemented further with more specific documents in the future.

Drone regulations and requirements,

The bulk of the resource itself, titled “Unmanned Aerial Systems Operations Around Vertical Communications Infrastructure,” outlines the FAA regulations that commercial drone operators should follow. Included is discussion of the airspace regulations that are relevant to drone operation, specifically the requirement of a 333 Exemption from the FAA, needed before a drone can be operated in the national airspace. A specific emphasis is placed on the avoidance of any adverse interaction between manned and unmanned aircraft.

As covered in the resource, commercial drone operators are required to keep various documentation available on site, including the flight operations manual, the standard operating procedure, the aircraft maintenance manual, a written privacy policy, and all relevant regulatory documents. Further outlined is the need for pilots to be properly trained in standard operations and emergency procedures, along with the knowledge of weather and visibility conditions required for flying. Also discussed are guidelines specific to various types of structures and locations where commercial UAS operation is applicable.

The publication of this document emphasizes the current climate of growth in the industry of inspection via drones, while further legitimizing the safety of such operations. Ryka UAS is pleased to see NATE quickly adopting and recognizing the importance of drone safety and protocol, all of which are actively practiced by Ryka UAS.

The official resource document can be found HERE.

The National Association of Tower Erectors, abbreviated as NATE, is a non-profit trade organization that focuses on the erection, service, and maintenance of towers. NATE has over 800 members across 12 different countries on 5 continents.

Contributed by: Michael Shaw, Ryka UAS Intern, RPI Class of 2017.