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UAV requirements for critical infrastructure determined by DOE or customer

safetypro

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I've been in the WTG industry for a decade.

Before I approaching my professional network regarding WTG inspections, I'm curious to know about the "Blue UAVs / American made requirment."

Is this requirement just for military or does it include power-lines and substations as well? Substations on WTG sites belong to the customer. Overhead power-lines, I'm not sure. Everything from the WTG back to the customer's subs are underground.

Thanks
 

rolling56

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Can you explain to us laymen what the WTG acronym means please. Also are you a power line/utility inspector? from the coal plant to homes or hydro to homes? or nuclear plant to homes? TIA!
 

Vic Moss

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I've been in the WTG industry for a decade.

Before I approaching my professional network regarding WTG inspections, I'm curious to know about the "Blue UAVs / American made requirment."

Is this requirement just for military or does it include power-lines and substations as well? Substations on WTG sites belong to the customer. Overhead power-lines, I'm not sure. Everything from the WTG back to the customer's subs are underground.

Thanks
Industry can certainly set their own rules for what type of gear or country or origin they require. Many do.

However, they cannot set themselves apart as "critical infrastructure" and disallow drones over their airspace. I see this on occasion, and have experienced it myself. I was told by security of an area I flew over that they could call the police and I would have my drone confiscated because they are considered "critical infrastructure" by the Feds. I told them they were not, and there was a very limited list of very specific facilities (not types of facilities) that are on that list. And I was more than willing to call my local FBI contact to have him explain that very thing to them. Once they knew I knew they were full of beans, they backed down.

There is a system being developed for facilities and other agencies to apply for CI & NFZ status, but until then, only those areas listed on the FAA's UAS Data map (ArcGIS Web Application) are actual CI.
 

safetypro

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Can you explain to us laymen what the WTG acronym means please. Also are you a power line/utility inspector? from the coal plant to homes or hydro to homes? or nuclear plant to homes? TIA!
As shared below, wind turbine generators.

Listening to the drone Life podcast this morning, apparently FAA is falling behind in regards to defining what critical infrastructure is.

Therefore states and local municipalities have started to come out with their own definitions.

From a snippet of information that Skywatch.ai found in its 2020 surveys, inspections is where the big money is at.
 

Jim West

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Industry can certainly set their own rules for what type of gear or country or origin they require. Many do.

However, they cannot set themselves apart as "critical infrastructure" and disallow drones over their airspace. I see this on occasion, and have experienced it myself. I was told by security of an area I flew over that they could call the police and I would have my drone confiscated because they are considered "critical infrastructure" by the Feds. I told them they were not, and there was a very limited list of very specific facilities (not types of facilities) that are on that list. And I was more than willing to call my local FBI contact to have him explain that very thing to them. Once they knew I knew they were full of beans, they backed down.

There is a system being developed for facilities and other agencies to apply for CI & NFZ status, but until then, only those areas listed on the FAA's UAS Data map (ArcGIS Web Application) are actual CI.
The more worrisome thing rather than an individual security guard is those states that have specifically outlawed flying over or near "critical infrastructure," which often includes such things as cattle farms and communications towers. Your local cop can then point to the state law, and even though it conflicts with the FAA's authority, proving your right to fly could be costly. The National Press Photographers Assn is currently suing to overturn such a law in Texas.
 
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Vic Moss

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Case in point above about what is and what isn't CI.

You see people saying jails and prisons are CI, and you can't fly over them. That isn't true.

I live in Lakewood, CO and below is a screenshot of my area. There is only one official CI NFZ. In this case, it's a federal correctional facility. However, there also happen to be at least 2 other correctional facilities on this map. And none of them are on that map.

So unless the facility you're flying over is on that list, it's not CI. Which doesn't mean you won't get hassled.

Also, remember, just because it's legal doesn't mean it's right. So please don't fly over prisons. As far as refineries and such, don't let them bully you. They tried with me.
 

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Vic Moss

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The more worrisome thing rather than an individual security guard is those states that have specifically outlawed flying over or near "critical infrastructure," which often includes such things as cattle farms and communications towers. Your local cop can then point to the state law, and even though it conflicts with the FAA's authority, proving your right to fly could be costly. The National Press Photographers Assn is currently suing to overturn such a law in Texas.
Yep. Florida and a couple of other states have attempted to control the NAS. The NPPA case will help with many of those. The judge incorrectly (in the NPPA's and my opinion) threw out part of that case in the last hearing. But we'll see how it goes from here.

We had NPPA's lead counsel on our show in April. Mickey does a good job explaining some of that case.

 

Vic Moss

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As shared below, wind turbine generators.

Listening to the drone Life podcast this morning, apparently FAA is falling behind in regards to defining what critical infrastructure is.

Therefore states and local municipalities have started to come out with their own definitions.

From a snippet of information that Skywatch.ai found in its 2020 surveys, inspections is where the big money is at.
The FAA isn't the agency that defines CI. DHS and other gov't security agencies do that, and then the FAA issues the NFZ rating. But yes, that process is way behind where it should be. And isn't really moving very quickly. It needs to.
 

R.Perry

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The more worrisome thing rather than an individual security guard is those states that have specifically outlawed flying over or near "critical infrastructure," which often includes such things as cattle farms and communications towers. Your local cop can then point to the state law, and even though it conflicts with the FAA's authority, proving your right to fly could be costly. The National Press Photographers Assn is currently suing to overturn such a law in Texas.

Ok, I can understand the cattle farms. I filmed one of our cattle drives and it became apparent that the cattle were bothered by the drone. As long as I kept my distance they were fine, but close up they scattered.
 

Jim West

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Ok, I can understand the cattle farms. I filmed one of our cattle drives and it became apparent that the cattle were bothered by the drone. As long as I kept my distance they were fine, but close up they scattered.
Sure. You don't want to fly too close to cattle. Just like people, they'll get upset. But to call a feedlot "critical infrastructure" like it was a nuclear power plant is bizarre. I think the real reason is they don't want people to see the crowded conditions cattle are kept in at feedlots.
 

rolling56

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As shared below, wind turbine generators.

Listening to the drone Life podcast this morning, apparently FAA is falling behind in regards to defining what critical infrastructure is.

Therefore states and local municipalities have started to come out with their own definitions.

From a snippet of information that Skywatch.ai found in its 2020 surveys, inspections is where the big money is at.
ok gotcha....I mainly was wanting to get you some replies since your thread started last Sunday ...
 

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