First Responder Tactical Past Visible Line of Sight (TBVLOS) 91.113 Waiver Information – Drones Information
In a time of extreme life-saving emergencies, first responders need the ability to operate their unmanned aerial vehicles (UAS) out of line of sight (BVLOS) in order to be able to assess the operating environment such as a fire scene during a large structural fire and a flight search on a large rooftop area after an ongoing burglary or to fly over a heavily forested area to look for a missing person (see image below for visual perception). To support public UAS operators who act as active first responders, the FAA may approve the TBVLOS (First Responder Tactical Beyond Visual Line of Sight) exemptions under 14 CFR 91.113 (b).
These BVLOS temporary flights are flown both to reduce the risk for first responders and to ensure the safety of the communities they serve. The FAA will pre-issue a 14 CFR 91.113 (b) waiver upon receipt of a complete and accurate application allowing UAS TBVLOS temporary operations under certain conditions and requirements as detailed in the following information:
The first aider must already be flying under a valid Part 91 Authorization Certificate.
TBVLOS may only be used in extreme emergency situations to protect human life.
The pilot-in-command (PIC) returns to VLOS (Visual Line of Sight) operation as soon as possible or after the extreme emergency situation has ended.
The PIC must not be operated more than 50 feet above or more than 400 feet to the side of the nearest obstacle while TBVLOS is in operation. The 50 feet above an obstacle must not exceed the hard ceiling 400 feet above the ground (AGL).
The UAS must be within 1500 feet of the PIC.
The UAS can operate TBVLOS during an extreme emergency to protect human life in controlled airspace, as long as it does not exceed the altitude values on the UAS facility map, which is a hard upper limit for these operations. This includes operations in a controlled airspace where altitude values are available for the UAS facility map but no LAANC (Low Altitude Authorization Notification Capability) permissions are available (red grid).
LAANC permissions are NOT required to perform TBVLOS operations.
Operations at night, including operations at night that are located in a controlled airspace below the altitude values of the UAS Facility Map, are permitted, provided that you adhere to the standard provisions for “Night Small UAS Operations” in your COA.
Note: Emergency operations that require you to exceed the hard ceiling of 400 feet or the elevation reading on the UAS facility map require a COA / Special Governmental Interest (SGI) waiver from the FAA’s Systems Operations Support Center: