Public entities, include publically funded universities, law enforcement, fire departments and other government agencies. These entities may apply for a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) from the FAA in order to use small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) in public aircraft operations.
Who can obtain a COA to operate public aircraft?
- Only government entities, such as federal and state government agencies, law enforcement, public colleges, universities can receive a COA for public UAS aircraft operations.
- Public aircraft operations must be conducted for a governmental function.
- COAs are most commonly issued to public (government) entities, but are also required for civil (private) operations.
- The FAA thoroughly evaluates each COA application to determine the safety of the proposal.
- COAs are issued for a specific period of time, usually two years, and include special provisions unique to each proposal, such as a defined block of airspace and time of day sUAS can be used.