The Association for Unmanned Vehicles Systems International (AUVSI) last week said it has submitted an official statement to the FAA in support of Yamaha’s bid to use UAS prior to the finalization of guidelines for small UAS usage. AUVSI suggested FAA grant Yamaha’s exemption request and to also look for more commercial uses for small UAS immediately, while continuing with the rulemaking.

AUVSI said small UAS for precision agriculture will help to save resources in farming. In May, FAA said it would consider granting exemptions for certain low-risk UAS applications for commercial purposes. And Yamaha submitted a request to fly their RMAX aircraft for commercial operation. The company is currently working with UC Davis by using the RMAX to spray vineyards in California.

AUVSI cited the use of 2,600 RMAX helicopters already at work in Japan, Australia and South Korea.

On April 8, 2014, AUVSI and 32 other association representing the manned aviation community, air traffic controllers, and future users of UAS, including agriculture groups, realtors, media organizations, and public safety organizations, sent a letter to the FAA strongly encouraging them to grant exemptions, but to also expedite the public notice and comment for small UAS rulemaking.

The FAA announced that it also will consider regulatory exceptions for other commercial applications including power line inspections and flare stack inspections. Amazon also recently filed for an FAA exemption to test its announced UAS delivery service and seven production companies have filed for exemptions to use UAS for filmmaking and movie production.

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