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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FEDERAL U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION ORDER 8130.34D National Policy 09/08/2017 SUBJ: Airworthiness Certification

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  • U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION

    ORDER

    8130.34D

    National Policy 09/08/2017

    SUBJ: Airworthiness Certification of Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Optionally Piloted Aircraft

    This order establishes procedures for issuing special airworthiness certificates in the

    experimental category to unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), optionally piloted aircraft (OPA),

    and aircraft intended to be flown as either a UAS or an OPA under the designation “OPA/UAS”.

    This order also establishes procedures for issuing special flight permits to UAS for the purpose

    of production flight testing. The procedures in this order apply to Federal Aviation

    Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspectors (ASI) and private persons delegated authority to

    issue special airworthiness certificates.

    Michael J. Kaszycki

    Acting Director, Policy & Innovation Division

    Aircraft Certification Service

    Distribution: Electronic Initiated By: AIR-600

  • 09/08/2017 8130.34D

    Table of Contents Paragraph Page

    Chapter 1. Introduction ................................................................................................................ 1-1 Purpose of This Order. .................................................................................................. 1-1 Audience. ...................................................................................................................... 1-1 Where Can I Find This Order?...................................................................................... 1-1 Explanation of Policy Changes. .................................................................................... 1-1 Cancellation. ................................................................................................................. 1-2 Effective Date. .............................................................................................................. 1-2

    Chapter 2. Airworthiness Certificates, Authorized Personnel, and Coordination ....................... 2-1

    Airworthiness Certificates .......................................................................................... 2-1 1. FAA Form 8130-7, Special Airworthiness Certificate. ................................................ 2-1

    Replacement or Amendment of Airworthiness Certificates. ........................................ 2-3 Surrendered Airworthiness Certificate. ........................................................................ 2-5 Safeguarding FAA Airworthiness Certificates. ............................................................ 2-5

    Authorized Personnel.................................................................................................. 2-5 Personnel Authorized to Issue Special Airworthiness Certificates to UAS, OPA, and

    OPA/UAS. .................................................................................................................... 2-5 Original Certification. ................................................................................................... 2-5 Recurrent Certification.................................................................................................. 2-6 Exceptions..................................................................................................................... 2-6

    Coordination with FAA Offices.................................................................................. 2-6 1. Coordination of Original Airworthiness Certificates.................................................... 2-6

    Coordination of Recurrent Airworthiness Certificates. ................................................ 2-7

    Chapter 3. Special Airworthiness Certification ........................................................................... 3-1

    Certification of UAS, OPA, and OPA/UAS ............................................................... 3-1 1. “Certificated as a system.” ............................................................................................ 3-1

    UAS Certification. ........................................................................................................ 3-1 OPA Certification. ........................................................................................................ 3-1 OPA/UAS Certification. ............................................................................................... 3-2

    Policies and Procedural Requirements........................................................................ 3-3 General. ......................................................................................................................... 3-3 Registration. .................................................................................................................. 3-3 FAA Form 8130-6, Application for U.S. Airworthiness Certificate. ........................... 3-3 UAS Risk Index. ........................................................................................................... 3-3 Program Letter. ............................................................................................................. 3-4 Safety Checklist. ........................................................................................................... 3-5 Flight Areas................................................................................................................... 3-5 Flight Test Plan. ............................................................................................................ 3-6 UA Operating Policy..................................................................................................... 3-7

    i

  • 09/08/2017 8130.34D

    Table of Contents Paragraph Page

    Contingency Planning. .................................................................................................. 3-7 Spectrum Authorization. ............................................................................................... 3-7 Automation in UA Operations. ..................................................................................... 3-7 UAS Crewmembers. ..................................................................................................... 3-7 Maintenance and Inspection. ........................................................................................ 3-7 Aircraft Markings.......................................................................................................... 3-7 Safety Evaluation. ......................................................................................................... 3-8 Operating Limitations. .................................................................................................. 3-9 FAA Form 7711-1, Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA). .......................... 3-10 Possession and Display of Documentation. ................................................................ 3-10 Onsite Inspection. ....................................................................................................... 3-10 Recording of Inspections. ........................................................................................... 3-11 Major Program or Configuration Changes. ................................................................ 3-11 Transfer of Ownership. ............................................................................................... 3-11 Records Retention....................................................................................................... 3-11

    Exhibition Certification of Unmanned Aircraft ........................................................ 3-11 General. ....................................................................................................................... 3-11 UA Aviation Event/Air Show Safety Case and Waiver. ............................................ 3-11 Difference with Certification Phases in FAA Order 8130.2....................................... 3-11 Home Base Changes or Ownership Transfers. ........................................................... 3-12

    Inspection Activities ................................................................................................. 3-12 1. Supporting Documentation. ........................................................................................ 3-12

    Additional Documentation.......................................................................................... 3-13 Aircraft, Control Station, and Associated Elements Inspection. ................................ 3-14 Certificate Issuance. .................................................................................................... 3-15 Flight Activity. ............................................................................................................ 3-15 Post-Certification. ....................................................................................................... 3-15

    Figure 1. Overview of the Airworthiness Certification Process...................................... 3-16

    Chapter 4. Administrative Information........................................................................................ 4-1 1. Distribution. .................................................................................................................. 4-1 2. Background. ...................................................................................