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FAA Special Purpose Operations for Restricted Category- Feedback Needed

FAA seeking Feedback on Special Purpose Operations:

Based on the input received at HAI, the FAA can proceed with evaluating several new restricted category special purpose operations. It is going to proposed to mgmt that we issue a request for comment in the Federal Register for avalanche control, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, patrolling railroads, aerial mulching, and perhaps police/security surveillance. Do you have any others to add to the list?

You may want to pass along to the user community that it would be advantageous for owner/operators to respond to the FRN. Public comments weigh heavily on our decision, so even a short "I like it" response would be helpful, in addition to any concerns. Plus, it is always helpful to highlight the public benefits of approving these missions.

Also, this might be helpful to understand the process:

The FAA issues a request for comment in the Federal Register on the proposed new special purpose operation(s). Approval of the new operation(s) for restricted category by FAA HQ will be based on the comments submitted by owner/operators in response to the Federal Register Notice, and any other supporting information we receive. Once approved, the owner/operator can apply to its local ACO for an STC to add the new special purpose operation(s) to their aircraft. And then once the STC is approved, the FSDO can add them to the a/w certificate. If any modifications are needed for the mission, the STC would also approve those modifications.

An STC applicant can make their STC applicable to all aircraft of the same type (for example, "UH-1H") and then work out a business arrangement to have that STC be applied to other aircraft. Or each owner/operator can apply for their own STC.

Special Purposes and Special Purpose Operations.

(1) Agricultural Use (includes the special purpose operations of crop spraying, dusting, and seeding; livestock and predatory animal control; insect control; dust control; and protection of crops).

(2) Forest and Wildlife Conservation (includes the special purpose operations of aerial dispensing of liquids, heli‑logging, fish spotting, wild animal survey, and oil spill response).

(3) Aerial Surveying (includes the special purpose operations of photography, mapping, oil and mineral exploration; atmospheric survey and research; geophysical and electromagnetic survey; oceanic survey; and airborne measurement of navigation signals).

(4) Patrolling (includes patrolling pipelines, power lines, and canals).

(5) Weather Control (includes cloud seeding).

(6) Aerial Advertising (includes the special purpose operations of skywriting, banner towing, airborne signs, and public address systems).

(7) Rotorcraft External Load Operations.

(8) Carriage of Cargo (Incidental).

(9) Target Towing.

(10) Search and Rescue (Non-Transport).

(11) Space Vehicle Launch.

(12) Glider Towing.

(13) Alaskan Fuel Hauling.

(14) Alaskan Fixed-Wing External Loads.

So far operators have contacted us regarding aerial mulching and avalanch control. If you have any others you feel should be proposed please contact me at or 406-360-7110.

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