The Sept. 10 New Mexico State University Aggie victory over the University New Mexico had significance to history in several ways. Not only it is the first time in four years that the Aggies’ beat the Lobos on the football filed, but more significant was that NMSU used new technology, an unmanned aircraft system to record video of the pre-game and kick-off.
NMSU’s Physical Science Laboratory performed the historic feat using a Federal Aviation Administration waiver under the FAA’s new Small UAS Rule, Part 107 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. Because these flights were deemed commercial with the PSL providing UAS service to NMSU’s AggieVison and KRWG-TV, a waiver was submitted and approved by the FAA for this sporting event. The FAA UAS Integration Office and the Flight Standards Office worked closely with NMSU, as this was one of the first approvals for a “FAR Part 107 waiver” for a FAA designated UAS Test Site and university.
NMSU became a designated UAS Test Site when President Barak Obama signed the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2016. NMSU is performing a number of research and commercial efforts to gather important data to assist the FAA in developing rules, regulations and procedures to further enable UAS to perform important roles to support our society.
NMSU’s UAS team provides support to the public regarding UAS through the FAA UAS Test Site program, through the FAA UAS Center of Excellence program, and to other government entities including New Mexico Department of Transportation/Aviation Division, the New Mexico Office of State Engineering and other public and civil entities.