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FCC Adopts Notice Proposing To Allocate Spectrum For Unmanned Aircraft Use – Aviation

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), following a
petition for rulemaking from the Aerospace Industries Association
and a separate FCC report analyzing the possibility of unmanned
aircraft system (UAS) operations in the 5030 – 5091 MHz band,
released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (the notice)
seeking comment on whether it should take steps to facilitate UAS
use on flexible-use wireless networks. The FCC collaborated with
the Federal Aviation Administration and the National
Telecommunications and Information Administration and developed the
notice within the federal government’s Interdepartment Radio
Advisory Committee process.

The FCC asked for comment on the following topics, which it
believes will help promote the growth and safety of UAS

  • Examining the FCC’s proposal to adopt service rules
    permitting UAS communications links in the 5030 – 5091 MHz
    band and whether it will provide the reliability necessary to
    support safety-critical UAS communications.

  • Assessing what steps must be taken to ensure that UAS use can
    coexist with terrestrial service spectrum operations, like mobile
    wireless networks.

  • Requiring UAS operators to obtain licenses in the aeronautical
    very high frequency band (117.975 – 137 MHz) to communicate
    with air traffic control and other aircraft while maintaining the
    integrity of the band.

  • Promoting the safe integration of UAS operations in controlled
    airspace and facilitating flight coordination.

Those involved in the unmanned aircraft industry should consider
participating in the FCC’s proceeding. The FCC is likely to
provide spectrum that will be a critical input for remote pilots to
communicate with UAS, but the specific terms of the rules will
affect how UAS can be manufactured and operated.

Comments and reply comments will be due 30 days and 60 days,
respectively, after the notice is published in the Federal

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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