Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

New Audit Announcements


Audit Initiated of FAA’s Efforts To Establish a Regulatory Framework for Beyond Visual Line of Sight Drone Operations

Requested By
Project ID
File Attachment

The United States prioritizes leadership in the global aeronautics industry, which includes enabling the comprehensive integration of new technologies such as unmanned and autonomous operations. Nationwide interest in using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly referred to as “drones,” in complex operations beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) is expanding. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has efforts underway to help advance routine BVLOS operations; however, the Agency has yet to establish new regulations to enable BVLOS operations beyond the parameters of existing drone regulations. Most commercial drone operators currently conduct operations under FAA’s small UAS regulation, which limits flights to certain areas and conditions unless the operators obtain waivers or regulatory exemptions. We are initiating this audit to continue our oversight of FAA’s drone integration efforts for complex BVLOS operations due to their importance for maintaining U.S. leadership in aeronautics as well as their potential for introducing risks to the National Airspace System. Accordingly, our audit objective is to assess FAA’s efforts to establish a regulatory framework for BVLOS drone operations.