FAA Waiver Statistics

The FAA has granted more than 4000 Part 107 FAA Waivers.

increased faa approval of uas waivers

On Aug 29, 2016, the FAA implemented Part 107 of title 14 of the code of Federal Regulations, also known as the small unmanned aircraft systems UAS rule. It created a regulatory framework that enabled civilian and commercial operators of UAS. UAS weighing 55 lbs. or less.

Generally, Part 107 requires operators to fly under 400 feet above ground level, within visual line of sight and only during daylight hours. UAS operators who want to fly outside the requirements of part 107, such as to conduct beyond line of sight or nighttime operations, may request a waiver from the FAA. The FAA began issuing waivers the same day Part 107 took effect.

Almost four years later, the FAA has granted more than 4000 waivers to UAV pilots in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The number of waivers granted per quarter reached an initial peak in the beginning of 2017 as pilots vied to be the first to fly under these new regulations however, as the FAA worked through the backlog, the approval rate rapidly declined by the end of the year since then, the number of waivers issued per quarter has steadily increased with a historic peak in the first quarter of 2020.

Almost 95% of currently active waivers enable UAS flights at night. The other 5% allow more advanced flight profiles like those over people, in excess of 100 mph, higher than 400 feet above ground level, under limited flight visibility, or with decreased distance relative to clouds.

FAA waivers can also modify the ground control requirements, thus enabling an operator to concurrently control multiple UAS, to fly without the required visual observer support to control the aircraft from a moving vehicle. Waivers are granted to “responsible individuals” who may or may not be linked to an associated organization on the waiver permit. Nearly 57% of waivers are granted to an individual with an associated organization. Businesses that operate UAS for financial gain are categorized as service organizations and account for over 72% of waivers granted to individuals associated with an organization many of these businesses offer aerial imaging solutions for a range of applications including real estate, landscape photography, infrastructure inspections, and agriculture environmental surveys.

First responders comprise 19% of the organizations granted waivers most of which enable nighttime operations for search and rescue or firefighting. More than 87% of entities granted a Part 107 exemption generate less than $1,000,000 in annual revenue. As such, it is important that the waiver process be standardized and easy to navigate to ensure that small businesses with minimal resources are able to take advantage of the benefits enabled by advanced operations.

If your organization needs a Part 107 waiver then contact UAS attorney Clint Dunaway at the Dunaway Law Group at 480-389-6529 or send us a message HERE.

Water Well Agreements Arizona

Shared Well Agreements in Arizona

What are your rights to water that comes from a shared well that is not located on your property? For most people, the answer is in the words written in your well share agreement.

The first question to be considered is—which state regulating body grants me the right to access and use groundwater? The Groundwater Management Act “GWMA” of 1980 established that groundwater, is common property of the citizens of Arizona and the management of it was under the Arizona Department of Water Resources, ADWR. All groundwater withdraws in Arizona must come from a water well that was permitted by ADWR.

Owning the land and fee, or owning an undivided interest in the land, partial ownership, or having an easement right does not give you the right to extract groundwater. The right to extract groundwater only comes from having a permitted well.

Therefore, a well share agreement to share the water from a legal source should always refer to the well by its ADWR registration number.

On Whose Land Does is the Well Located?

The second question to be considered is: whose land is the well located on? If the well is located on land that is titled in the name of one of the members of the well share group, then that person owns the well. Drilling and constructing a water well creates a permanent change to real property and that improvement cannot be separated from the land, therefore, well becomes a part of the real property. Groundwater is not real property. Percolating water beneath the earth In Arizona is called groundwater and in it is considered “public” property managed by the ADWR.

If the well is located on your neighbor’s lot, and they hold title to the land in their name, the well should be registered with the ADWR in their name. The ADWR recognizes that shared wells can, and should be, registered in the name of the person or party that is responsible for its management. The ADWR has created Form 55-73 , for the purpose of registering shared wells in the name of a managing or operating group. Registration of a well with the ADWR does not establish ownership of the well. A.R.S. § 45-593(c), requires that the owner of the land keep the ADWR up-to-date as to who owns the land and where the well is located. For this purpose, they have created Form 55-71(a), request to change well information.

water well arizona

When a shared well site is situated on a parcel of land that is deeded and recorded in the appropriate County, the well is owned by the names listed on that deed. The wording of many well share agreements may grant several owners an undivided interest in into a small piece of land, and thus an undivided real property interest in the well. When this wording is used on the deed and in the shared well agreement, the assessors map should show a smart parcel of land with its own Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN). In this case, the well should be registered in the name of all parties listed on the deed.

If you’re well share agreement is worded in the same manner as the deed , you own an undivided piece of this land which means that you are also subject to a portion of the yearly property taxes or improvement assessments on this parcel. Once water is pumped to the surface from a registered well, and placed in the storage tank, it becomes the personal property of the owners of the land. So, if you own a percentage of the land via the deed, then you also own a percentage of the water stored on it.

Some well shared agreements are structured such that the participants receive only an easement right to access the land where the well was located. There is a major difference between owning an undivided interest in a piece of real estate, partial ownership, versus having just a vested interest in someone else’s real property granted by an easement. An easement is a vested interest in someone else’s real property and not an undivided fraction of title to the land into the well.

An easement will typically state that it was granted for a specific purpose. If your well share agreement is an easement right of entry you should verify that you have a right to do more than merely access someone’s land. The wording of that easement may, by exclusion, not grant you are right to receive and share the water, located on that property. An easement is a vested interest only in someone else’s real property for a specific purpose and groundwater is not a part of real property.

Many well water agreements in place today were written prior to 1980, when groundwater was more loosely considered to be a part of the real property. These older versions often refer strictly to the land and not to the water or the registered well. Well share agreements that refer strictly to a piece of real estate, and do not state the registration number of a well, may not be granting you a legally defensible right to the groundwater. A registered water well is the only legal right to the public groundwater resource and it is granted only to the permitted owner of the land. This is a very compelling reason why all well share agreements should refer to the water well being shared by the registration number.

Well share agreements should define a legal right to groundwater from a registered well. A well share agreement is a legal contract between two or more persons and it can be enforced by the courts. Not complying with the well share agreement can constitute a breach of contract.

If you have questions about an existing water well agreement or would like to create a water well agreement then contact the Dunaway Law Group at 480-389-6529 or send us a message HERE.

UAV to Spray Pesticide

UAVs to Spray Pesticide on Crops

UAV spraying is effective tool for applying pesticides on crops. UAVs especially shine when fields are flooded with water, making entry of motorized vehicle to the field impractical or when treating crops that grow in steep hills.

UAV pesticide spraying is becoming increasingly available for specialty crops and row-crop production. Recently, UAV manufacturers such as DJI have started offering high payload rotor UAVs that include sprayers.

Spraying with UAVs is a unique practice since it is conducted autonomously. UAV sprayers are equipped with almost all the parts of any other sprayer: a tank, a pump to push liquid through the hoses to the nozzles, filters and a pressure gauge. But there are limitations, mostly on the size of these components because of the power required to keep the UAV sprayer in flight mode for a reasonable time.

UAVs carry unique characteristics when applying liquid products. First, the application is different from ground-based machines but not the same as typical aerial applications completed with helicopters or crop dusters. These small UAVs are typically flown 3 to 10 feet above the crop or target area with their rotors creating turbulence or what we call vortices. While the turbulence created by the rotors can help spray droplets penetrate into a crop canopy and provide good coverage on the top and bottom of leaves, these vortices cause drift concerns. Research is being conducted to determine spray deposition, coverage and drift from UAV sprayers in comparison to other methods used for pesticide application. Unique features for UAV sprayers include vertical or altitude adjustments for topography or height, autonomous swath control, and safety.

UAV Drone

In general, spray UAVs for applying products to row-crops will have 4 to 5-gallon tanks with a spray width between ranging 10 and 15 feet. The application rate will be 1 to 2 gallons per acre or set in accordance with product labels. Today, multi-rotor UAVs have a flight time of around 15 – 20 minutes allowing a tank to be dispersed before needing to land to refill plus change out batteries for the next flight. Most manufacturers provide estimates on application rates in minutes per acre with most UAVs spraying an acre within 3 to 4 minutes.

UAVs can be used to clean up fields, spray drowned out spots, control resistant weed escapes, or other small areas within a field versus using a high-clearance sprayer.

Today, the mapping process is more accurate and efficient given the development of AI representing an essential step forward in technology.

Companies developing and testing these systems have been successful in applying to the FAA for an exemption under Section 333 resulting in the FAA potentially issuing a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA for Certificate of Authorization) to facilitate testing in the United States.

Farmers and ranchers can purchase spray UAVs today but, at a minimum, you will need following three licenses to operate:

  1. Private Pesticide Applicator License in Ohio
  2. Part 107 Certificate through the FAA
  3. Part 137 Certificate through the FAA

Further, owners are required to register their UAVs (any UAV between 0.55 and 55 pounds) with the FAA:

However, if the UAV weighs over 55 pounds it must be registered with the FAA under Rule 47.

Yamaha RMAX and FAZER

  • 2- or 4-stroke gas engine depending upon model
  • 6.3, 4.2, or 8.5 on-board storage (2 tanks) depending upon model
  • 0.3 to 0.5 gpm discharge rate
  • Granular material application option
  • Legal in CA to apply crop protection products. Purchase service from Yamaha.

DJI AGRASMG

  • Electric with 8 rotors
  • 2.6 gallon tank
  • Spray Width = 4 – 6 m spray width
  • 4 nozzle boom

Hylio AgroUAV

  • Electric with 8 rotors
  • 4.5- gallon tank
  • Typically 1 gpm
  • 15-foot spray width
  • 6-nozzle boom

While there is still work on application quality, spray UAVs provide unique capabilities over manned aircraft and ground spraying equipment. To learn how we can help you register your UAV then contact the Dunaway Law Group at 480-389-6529 or click HERE.

Terminate an Easement

Can an Easement be Legally Terminated

Can an easement be terminated? An easement is a right cross over someone else’s property. To answer the question, yes. In Arizona, you can terminate an easement in one of four basic ways.  

These are four basic ways to terminate an easement.

  • Expiration of an Easement: In Arizona, an easement can be terminated by the expiration of an agreed upon time event. on I agreement my abandonment via the doctrine of merger some easements are granted for a finite period of time when the time. Is not The easement is set to expire easements of this sort are said to terminate by expiration because they are granted. 10 years at the end of the 10 year period easement will terminate.
  • Agreement to Terminate an Easement: In Arizona, some easements are terminated by agreement of the owner of the easement. Termination by Agreement happens when the owner expressly conveys the easement back to the grantor. For example, if Simon owns an easement over Garfunkel’s land, and Garfunkel requests that Simon release the easement, Simon may then execute the termination agreement and convey the easement back to Garfunkel. Once this agreement is signed by Simon, then the easement in Arizona land will terminate.
Old abandoned building and rail.
  • Abandonment of an Easement: In Arizona, an easement can be terminated when the owner abandons his right to the easement. Usually mere nonuse of an easement is not enough to qualify for termination. In Arizona, an easement may be terminated by abandonment only if the owner makes a clear, unequivocal, decisive act to abandon the easement.

What is a decisive act to abandon? A decisive act to abandon an Arizona easement could include creating a new alternate road to enter the property or putting fending/wall or some other time of barrier across the easement.

  • Merger of Easement and Land: In Arizona, an easement may be terminated by the doctrine of merger. Under the doctrine of merger, if one party acquires the property subject to and benefited by an easement. The easement will have been said to merge with the other rights held by the owner.

This makes sense,  because an easement is the right to cross over the property belonging to another person. However, if you own the land the easement will merge into the land because it is impossible to have an easement over your own property. Again, in Arizona, these are the four methods to terminate an easement. Understanding easements and how they affect you can be very confusing and so f you have questions about an easement on your Arizona property then contact the Dunaway Law Group at 480-389-6529 or by sending us a message HERE.