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Safety is everyone’s responsibility.  Unmanned aircraft operators must understand and abide by the rules prescribed by the FAA.  Before conducting flights within the Class B airspace surrounding IAH and HOU, or the Class D airspace surrounding EFD, you must select one of the three options below depending on the type of operation you will be performing. If you are not sure of your proximity to an airport, download the B4UFLY app or use the AIRMAP (D-NAS) app available online.

1. COMMERCIAL UAS OPERATORS

Commercial operations are flown for revenue-generating purposes, furtherance of an entity, or for any reason other than recreation.

Commercial operations must comply with FAR 107 and must obtain a waiver to fly in the Class B airspace surrounding IAH and HOU, and Class D airspace surrounding EFD.  Waivers to operate outside the requirements of FAR 107 are obtained via the FAA, not the local air traffic facility or airport.

2. PUBLIC UAS OPERATORS

Public operators are governmental entities or organizations (e.g., law enforcement agencies, public universities, state governments, local municipalities).

Public operators have two options for flying UAS in the Class B airspace surrounding IAH and HOU, and Class D airspace surrounding EFD:

Waivers to operate outside the requirements of FAR 107 and/or to apply for a COA go to FAA.gov/UAS, not the local air traffic facility or airport. 

3. HOBBYIST UAS OPERATORS (MODEL AIRCRAFT)

Hobbyists (model aircraft) operators are defined as flying for enjoyment and not for work, business purposes, or for compensation or hire.

FAR 107 does not apply to model aircraft that satisfy all of the criteria specified in Section 336 of Public Law 112-95.  Section 336 of Public Law 112-95 requires hobbyists to notify the airport and ATC when flying within 5 miles from an airport.  If you are not sure of your proximity to an airport, download the B4UFLY app.

Notification of model aircraft activity within 5 miles of IAH, HOU, or EFD is accomplished using the Digital Notification and Awareness System (D-NAS) via the AIRMAP (D-NAS) app available online and in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

OPERATING RULES

HOBBYIST (MODEL AIRCRAFT) COMMERCIAL OR PUBLIC

Must ALWAYS yield right of way to manned aircraft

Must keep the aircraft in sight (visual line-of-sight)*

Must keep the aircraft in sight (visual line-of-sight)

Must fly under 400 feet*

UAS must be under 55 lbs.

Must fly during the day*

Must follow community-based safety guidelines

Must fly at or below 100 mph*

Must notify airport and air traffic control tower before flying within 5 miles of an airport

Must yield right of way to manned aircraft*

 

Must NOT fly over people*

 

Must NOT fly from a moving vehicle*

*These rules are subject to FAA.gov/UAS

Additional UAS information can be found at

FAA.gov/UAS

B4UFly App

Modelaircraft.org

auvsi.org

For specific questions regarding Unmanned Aircraft Systems, go to faa.gov/uas or contact the Houston FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) at 1-281-929-7000.