|16 Dec 2015|
Good afternoon commanders and staff. As many of you are aware, in the last few days the FAA has released requirements to register recreational/hobby UASes that weigh more than .55 pounds (approx 9 oz) starting next week. These requirements apply to our CAP resources including the model airplanes and copters provided through the STEM program as well as any UAS that our CAP units have received or procured through other means. CAP National Headquarters will accomplish this registration for all of our CAP owned resources. DO NOT INDIVIDUALLY REGISTER THEM YOURSELVES. If you have already done so, please contact me via email immediately. Below is our path forward:
First, we must register all of the units we have fielded for educational purposes. Dr. Jeff Montgomery is providing my staff the information on the STEM kit UASes fielded by his office. If any of your units own a model airplane, copter or other system that could be considered a UAS (see http://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/faqs/) that was NOT provided as part of a STEM kit that you are using for educational purposes, please have your unit POCs email my administrative assistant, LaShonda Frazier (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the make and model of the system, the unit charter number it is assigned to, and the email address and CAPID of the POC for the system by COB on 21 Dec; we will gladly accept emails from one wing POC if you have someone already coordinating these issues, but because of the short time frame if individual units need to send answers direct, that is ok. Once we have accomplished our bulk registration next week, we will email the certificate to the POCs collected above, CAP units that have received STEM kits, commanders and key staff personnel, and also make it available online for future use and download. After 20 Dec, the FAA is requiring that we mark each educational UAS with our unique bulk registration number before we operate the units outdoors, and when flying these UAS outdoors the operators must be able to present the certificate in either print or electronic format if asked for proof of registration.
Second, we must individually register UASes that will be used for operational mission purposes like imagery collection for disaster relief, search and rescue, etc and expect we will also have to provide details to our insurance carrier as well. We do not have any approved UASes for operational mission use yet, but I know some of you have either already received units from your state counterparts or other means with that intention, will soon, or would like to dual purpose the STEM kits above. The online process for us to register UASes for this purpose with the FAA is expected to be available sometime after the new year, and my office will register those units as well. We will need more information in order to register those units and will put out more detailed guidance on that after the new year. Until otherwise registered and approved, do not fly UASes for operational mission purposes on behalf of CAP. If any of your units have a UAS already or are expected to receive one any time soon that they intend to use for operational missions, please also have the unit’s UAS POC contact LaShonda via email (see above) so that we can work together to chart a path ahead. I intend to host a conference call or webinar that we will announce the first week of January. For now, do not plan to re-purpose STEM kits for operational mission use immediately; NHQ will develop guidance for how we can do so legally and effectively in the coming months.
Last, because of the above registration issues and the insurance and liability associated with them, we will need to track all model aircraft, copters, and other types of UASes that CAP owns across the country. Expect more guidance on this after the new year once tools have been put in place to do so.
In order to give this the widest dissemination possible, I’ve sent this message to all wing and region AEs, CPs, CSes, CVs, DCs, DOs, DOSes, DOCs, and DOHs in addition to all wing and region commanders, and will also post this message traffic in e-services and out to the RSS feed. Thanks in advance for your support and quick response on this issue.
John W. Desmarais, Sr.