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FAA seeks public comment on drone

by From Staff Reports | June 21, 2022 at 10:38 a.m.

Public comment is invited on the draft environmental assessment for Zipline International's drone package delivery operations, according to a notice at Pea Ridge City Hall.

The notice from the Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration, Washington, D.C., is a Notice of Availability, Notice of Public Comment Period, and Request for Comment on the Draft Environmental Assessment for Zipline International's Drone Package Delivery Operations in Pea Ridge, Ark., and surrounding area.

The notice states:

"The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) hereby gives Notice of Availability (NOA) for the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) evaluating the potential effects of the FAA decision to authorize Zipline International, Inc. to conduct unmanned aircraft (UA) commercial package delivery operations from one location, or "nest," in Pea Ridge, Ark.

"Zipline is seeking to amend its Part 135 Air Carrier Operations Specifications (OpSpecs) to include package delivery operations from its nest in Pea Ridge to approved delivery locations in Benton and Carrol Counties in Arkansas, and to portions of McDonald and Barry counties in Missouri. The federal action subject to this EA is the requested FAA approval of Zipline's OpSpecs to include a paragraph with descriptive language about the operating area boundaries, which includes the specific locations and operational profile in Zipline's request.

"The Draft EA has been prepared in accordance with the requirements set forth in the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations at Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), parts 1500-1508, Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act and FAA Order 1050.1F, Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures.

"The public comment period for the Draft EA begins with the issuance of this Notice of Availability and lasts 14 days. The FAA encourages all interested parties to provide comments concerning the scope and content of the Draft EA by June 27, 2022, or 14 days from the date of publication of this Notice of Availability, whichever is later. The Draft EA is available to view/download electronically at https://www.faa.gov/uas/advanced_operations/nepa_and_drones/

"Comments may be directed in writing to [email protected] Please reference the Zipline Pea Ridge Draft EA in the email subject line when sending comments.

"Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so."

The notice was posted June 13, 2022, by Dave Menzimer, manager, General Aviation Operations Section General Aviation and Commercial Division, Office of Safety Standards, Flight Standards Service.

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