Flying a drone from Healy

Unmanned Aerial Systems ("drone") can be operated from HEALY and POLAR STAR, but require advance clearance from Coast Guard Headquarters. This process typically takes six months. Please submit the following information immediately upon receiving confirmation that you will be sailing on HEALY or POLAR STAR.  Failure to submit all required information on time can delay or preclude approval of UAS operations.

  • What UAS model are you planning to operate?
  • Is your UAS registered with the FAA?
  • Has it ever been issued an Interim Flight Clearance before?
  • Who will be operating it?
  • What training and certifications do they have?
  • What role will the UAS be filling?
  • What are the mission dates?
  • Where will the mission take place? How far off shore?
  • What is the maximum operating altitude?
  • What is the maximum distance from the cutter?

Flights originating from cutter boats and from the ice are not subject to the same regulations.  Drones can be flown from the ice during ice stations or from the RHIB, or Arctic Survey Boat during small boat operations without external approval. All flight operations should be briefed with cutter prior to take off.