Photo © Lewis Clarke (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Is a Certificate of Authorization (COA) the right way for your public safety department to operate?  Here, Steve Rhode discusses when and why it may be appropriate – or not – to operate under a COA.

The following is one of a biweekly series on public safety drone issues by Steve Rhode, Chief Pilot with the Wake Forest Fire Department and the North Carolina Public Safety Drone Academy, and founder of Public Safety Flight, a website dedicated to information about the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), UAVs, aircraft, and drones in public safety. (Not to be contrued as legal advice: please see details at the FAA government site.)

The Elusive COA White Whale

Many public safety drone operations decide to fly under a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) to conduct flight operations for their government operations.

In my experience, many decide to go this route because some salesperson or a friend has said it is the easiest…