Tag Archives: Federal Aviation Administration


FAA approves FPV Catalog for commercial use of drones

An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) related business in Southern Arizona received a Federal Aviation Administration exemption to fly drones. FPV Catalog, an online source for multirotors and winged aircraft parts and accessories, is one of the first retail sites in Arizona to be granted authorization from the FAA to fly its UAVs for commercial and educational purposes.

After submitting an application in January 2015, FPV Catalog and its founder, Bruce Pogosaew, received the FAA’s approval on April 17.

“As a new business, we were expecting to wait several months or longer to hear from the FAA,” said Mr. Pogosaew. “To be granted an exemption and receive a response within 90 days is remarkable.”

FPV (First Person View) Catalog materialized in 2014 after its owners, Bruce and Michelle Pogosaew, recognized the need for UAV enthusiasts to have one source where they can purchase compatible parts and accessories. Having over 18 years of experience in Information Technology and a passion for unmanned aerial vehicles, Mr. Pogosaew immediately realized how their business would benefit from receiving an FAA approval, as well as the technological boost it would provide for the local community. Michelle Pogosaew, a University of Pittsburgh graduate, holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology and is a beginner FPV enthusiast. While her husband has been a lifelong Remote Control enthusiast and DIY hobbyist –he tears apart and rebuilds aircraft models regularly- business development is her area of expertise and she is thrilled to be part of a rapidly expanding industry. “I’ve always loved to fly, but little did I know the skills I developed in a university science lab-examining frogs and insects- would help me to dissect Quadcoptors and UAVs as part of my career later in life.”

The authorization creates a wide range of possibilities for FPV Catalog’s husband and wife team. The most significant enabling them to test products and post instructional videos on FPV Catalog’s website as a way to strengthen quality control. The idea being that they can test the durability and flight capabilities of UAV and FPV products not only for customer review, but for new suppliers and entrepreneurs wanting a place to launch their inventions.

“Quality is important to our business and having the capability to review and film products commercially under the 333 Exemption allows us to create these videos without being fined,” said Mr. Pogosaew. “And because the FAA was still fine tuning the exemption details for commercial use of drones, FPV Catalog requested an exemption for only two types of models: a Fixed Wing and a Multirotor-with the thought that the 333 Exemption will act as an umbrella and cover other models down the road.”

Additionally the FAA certification allows Mr. Pogosaew to produce educational and promotional videos for the agricultural and construction industries, real estate agencies, schools, universities and government agencies. He is listed in the National SARS (Search and Rescue) database and is available to help support search and rescue missions.

On a broader scale, and more importantly to the owners of FPV Catalog, receiving an exemption within a short period of time symbolizes the Federal Aviation Administration is loosening their reins. They believe the FAA is acknowledging the importance of the UAS industry and the role it will have in stimulating the US economy. America needs small businesses with innovative and creative people at the helm who are willing to compete locally and globally.

“We don’t know what the future holds, but we are proud to be part of it now with the FAA’s approval.”


FAA approves USAA request for drone research

The Federal Aviation Administration has approved USAA’s request to test how unmanned aircraft systems, also known as drones, could help speed review of insurance claims from its members following natural disasters. USAA is one of the first insurers to be granted the approval for such testing.

“Our members have grown accustomed to seeing us pave the way for innovative solutions that streamline the claims process,” said Alan Krapf, president, USAA Property and Casualty Insurance Group.

In October 2014, USAA filed for an exemption under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 to enable more efficient testing of small drones. Exempt from select FAA regulations, USAA can now fly drones, made by U.S.-based PrecisionHawk, during the day within line-of-sight of a trained pilot and air crew. Prior to the approval, USAA test flights could only take place at FAA-approved sites. No aircraft will exceed an altitude of 400 feet, and all flights will continue to be reported to the FAA prior to takeoff.

With FAA approval, USAA will work with PrecisionHawk to efficiently research and develop best practices, safety and privacy protocols and procedures as it further develops plans for operational use.

USAA also filed for an additional FAA exemption in November that will enhance USAA’s ability to use drones in catastrophes. That exemption petition is pending approval, and a decision is expected soon.

“We’re proud to be among the first insurers approved to test this technology,” Krapf said. “It’s our responsibility to explore every option to improve our members’ experience.”

low flying aircraft

Caution: Low-Flying Aircraft Policies

Tim Lawless President NAIOP - Arizona

Tim Lawless
NAIOP – Arizona

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is considering a significant reduction in the maximum height limit of buildings near U.S. airports to ensure aircraft have clearance to continue an ascent in the unlikely event that an engine fails at takeoff.

The proposed policy would limit building heights of new commercial projects within 10,000 feet of the end of the runway to no more than 160 feet tall. As a result, NAIOP-AZ has submitted a letter to strongly advocate that the FAA retract the proposed One Engine Inoperative (OEI) Procedures in the Obstruction Evaluation Studies published in the Federal Register on April 28.

While NAIOP-AZ fully supports the FAA’s role to oversee aviation safety, it opposes this proposed OEI policy, note that it does not address safety, does not contain adequate justification, penalizes unfairly communities surrounding airports by impeding much needed economic development, and lacks rigorous cost-benefit analyses.

NAIOP-AZ especially has a keen interest around one of the largest airports in the U.S., Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix where a number of its members have existing and planned buildings in multiple communities in relatively close proximity to the airport.

NAIOP-AZ is of the belief that if the policy determination outlined recently in the Federal Register is driven by economic considerations, it will have a chilling effect on developers constructing new facilities and on firms and tenants who may want to own existing facilities for investment purposes should a facility be close to or exceed the lower height requirements.

Should the FAA move forward, any OEI policy should, at a minimum, provide for certainty to developers and communities who engage in long-term planning, take into account the impacts and views of all stakeholders – not just in the aviation community, and be subjected to robust legislative rule-making requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act, including a full cost- benefit and Federalism analysis.

Toward this end, NAIOP-AZ support HR 4623, pending in the US House of Representatives, which would mandate that the FAA follow normal rule-making procedures for a policy change of this magnitude that would include such an economic cost-benefit analysis.

gateway airport

Phoenix Mesa-Gateway Airport plans $1.4 Billion Expansion

Phoenix Mesa-Gateway Airport has big plans to cater to more travelers.

The Airport Authority’s Board of Directors announced Monday the airport will undergo a $1.4 billion expansion.

Officials say the project is set to be completed in four phases. The plan includes the construction of 60 airplane gates and 21,000 parking spaces.

They predict the airport will be able to accommodate 20 million passengers annually.

Nearly 957,000 passengers went through Mesa-Gateway last year, making it one of the fastest growing airports nationwide.

The Arizona Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration are also funding the project.

There is also an effort to privately raise $385 million to build two hotels and office and retail space.

For more information about Phoenix Mesa-Gateway Airport, visit Phoenix Mesa-Gateway Airport’s website at phxmesagateway.org

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Outlines Plans For $1.4B Terminal Expansion

To accommodate passenger service over the next 20 years and beyond, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport outlined four distinct phases of new terminal development at an estimated total cost of $1.4B during a session of the Airport Authority’s Board of Directors meeting.

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport is among the fastest growing hub airports in the U.S., accommodating 956,665 total passengers in 2011 and forecasting 1.3M in 2012. To accommodate the rapid rise in passenger service, the Airport’s current terminal facility has transitioned through four expansion projects in as many years.

Current passenger trends indicate the existing terminal facilities and infrastructure on the Airport’s west side will be at full capacity as early as 2014. In response, the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Northeast Area Development Plan was initiated. The plan, titled “Gateway 2030” by the Airport Executive Director at a recent Board of Director’s meeting, was prepared by the Jacobs Engineering Group in collaboration with Airport staff; Federal, State and local officials; development industry experts; and major land owners near the Airport over a 20-month period that began in October 2009.

Phase One

Gateway 2030 will be executed in four phases as demand warrants expansion. The first phase will include a single-level terminal and concourse with 14 aircraft gates, surface parking for 4,375 vehicles, airfield improvements, partial construction of a circulation roadway, and related infrastructure improvements. Phase One will be designed to accommodate up to 3M total passengers a year. The timing for completion of Phase One is demand-based but expected to be operational as early as 2017. The estimated cost for this phase is $344M.

Phase Two

Phase Two expands Phase One development, making the terminal facility capable of accommodating up to 4.4M passengers annually. Detailed expansion includes: four additional gates, extension of the circulation roadway, expanded surface parking to 10,500 vehicles, and a 1,000-feet extension of Runway 12L/30R. The estimated cost of this phase is $145M.

Phase Three

Phase Three increases the terminal capacity to 10M passengers annually and expands the terminal facilities to two levels and 30 total aircraft gates. Parking facilities include multilevel garages and planning for light rail service. Completion timing has not been determined. The estimated cost of this phase is $963M.

Phase Four

Phase Four completes the Plan and all related project efforts, enabling the airport to accommodate up to 20M passengers annually. Phase Four enhancements are expected to include a total of 60 aircraft gates, 21,000 vehicle parking spaces, and dual landside terminal arrival and departure curbs on two levels. Since Phase Four activities likely will not be undertaken until 2030 or beyond, no cost estimates have been forecast.

“Airport staff recognizes that we are stewards of an incredible community asset and we’re working hard to make it the best it can be,” said Airport Authority Executive Director, Lynn Kusy. “The Gateway 2030 project represents a significant step in achieving the Airport’s potential as it outlines the critical steps needed to meet forecast passenger demand.”

Potential funding sources for Gateway 2030 include the Federal Aviation Administration, Arizona Department of Transportation, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority member government contributions, and Airport resources such as passenger facility charges and bonds.

The Plan also forecasts $385M in private development which is expected to be spent on 2.5 MSF of office/retail space and two hotels producing 600 rooms.

For more information on Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, visit their website at www.phxmesagateway.org

West-MEC Aviation High School, Glendale, Ariz. - AZ Business Magazine July/August 2011

West-MEC’s Aviation High School Trains Teens For Jobs In The Aerospace Industry

Young people in the West Valley who have always wanted to work in the aerospace maintenance industry will now have the opportunity with the opening of the West-MEC Aviation High School in Glendale.

Aviation High School – The West-MEC program, which provides technical training in a vast array of careers, has grown exponentially since opening in 2003. What began with 450 students now serves more than 26,000 in 40 high schools within 12 member districts. Cliff Migal, assistant superintendent for West-MEC, says the program’s success is due in part to its partnerships with the business and education communities.

West-MEC Aviation High School, Glendale, Ariz. - AZ Business Magazine July/August 2011There were no technical training institutes in the West Valley, Migal says, but through partnerships, they were able to get something started.

As Freshman, students may start taking satellite program classes on school grounds. As juniors, they can take the central program classes, which are held off school grounds. The programs also will one day be available to adults. The cost of adult tuition is still being determined, but Migal said it could cost about $14,000. Students in high school pay $500.

The aviation program, which officially launches Aug. 8, is a licensure program requiring 1,952 hours of training. It will
include studying an airplane’s wings, propellers, landing gears, hydraulics, electrical system and engine. Once completed, students can take the Federal Aviation Administration licensure exam. Those who pass will become licensed aviation maintenance technicians, qualified to work for airplane repair shops. The program, which is in the final stages of certification with the FAA, will be audited and reviewed annually by the federal agency, Migal says, to ensure the school is following curriculum and delivering a quality education.

The aviation school is the first of West-MEC’s programs to be built from the ground up. It was made possible through a lease-donation agreement with the John F. Long Revocable Trust and its innovative design has been recognized by WESTMARC with the Best of the West Architectural Innovation award.

DLR Group and McCarthy Building Companies were involved in the design and construction of the facility, which is like an airport hangar, but with features that disguise its identity. The exterior, Migal says, was designed to look like free-flowing wings and has taxi lines running up the sidewalk and into the building.

Inside, 12,000 square feet of open space provides plenty of room to maneuver.West-MEC Aviation High School, Glendale, Ariz. - AZ Business Magazine July/August 2011

Distinctive features include air ducts resembling airplane air ducts, a light fixture in the main lobby that simulates helicopter blades and airplane-related wall murals.

Sustainable features include a white roof to reflect the sun and an evaporation cooling system that cools and heats almost 40 percent of the facility. Solar panels might be added.

Advanced Real Estate Resources helped with the design and development. Williams Aviation Consulting helped develop the program’s curriculum and in locating donated equipment.

The program would not have been possible without an advisory committee of industry representatives from across the Phoenix Metropolitan area, Migal says. “We will always make sure that the skill set the school provides is the skill set industry needs and demands.”

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For More Information:

West-MEC Aviation High School
Glendale Airport
6997 N. Glen Harbor Blvd., Glendale
(623) 873-1860



Arizona Business Magazine July/August 2011