ASTM adopt new standards


Going live on their website the ASTM standards that will form part of the FAA’s thinking moving forward. It is a shame that the civil small industry was not more involved in forming these standards. Pundits believe that civil systems now outnumber their military counterparts in the USA by 10 to 1. If you want to see these you need to pay. If you want them all they will cost $279. Patrick wrote about that last week and I will add the ASTM’s response below.

Small UAS Operations

ASTM International Committee F38 on Unmanned Aircraft Systems has recently approved seven new standards that cover all major facets of small unmanned aircraft systems operations, including design, construction, operation and maintenance requirements.

The following seven new ASTM standards, written for all sUAS that are permitted to operate over a defined area and in airspace defined by a nation’s governing aviation authority, have now been approved by F38:

  • F2908, Specification for Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM) for a Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS). F2908 defines minimum requirements for the aircraft flight manual, which provides guidance to owners, mechanics, pilots, crew members, airports, regulatory officials and aircraft and component manufacturers who perform or provide oversight of sUAS flight operations.
  • F2909, Practice for Maintenance and Continued Airworthiness of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS). F2909 establishes a practice for the maintenance and continued airworthiness of sUAS. Requirements for continued airworthiness, inspections, maintenance and repairs/alterations are included.
  • F2910, Specification for Design and Construction of a Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS). F2910 defines the design, construction and test requirements for sUAS. In addition to general requirements, F2910 covers requirements for structure, propulsion, propellers, fuel and oil systems, cooling, documentation and other key areas.
  • F2911, Practice for Production Acceptance of Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS). F2911 defines production acceptance requirements for sUAS. Requirements covered include several aspects of production, system level production acceptance, quality assurance and documentation.
  • F3002, Specification for Design of the Command and Control System for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS). F3002 provides a consensus standard in support of an application to a nation’s governing aviation authority to operate an sUAS for commercial or public use. The standard focuses on command and control (C2) links, including a diagram of a C2 system and general requirements for C2 system components.
  • F3003, Specification for Quality Assurance of a Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS). F3003 defines quality assurance requirements for design, manufacture and production of small unmanned aircraft systems. Guidance is given to sUAS manufacturers for the development of a quality assurance program.
  • F3005, Specification for Batteries for Use in Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS). F3005 defines requirements for battery cells used in sUAS. Mechanical design and safety, and electrical design battery maintenance are primary battery-related areas that are covered.

“The introduction of these standards developed by F38 will help to provide a safe and appropriate path for near-term routine sUAS operations in airspace systems of the United States and other countries,” says Theodore Wierzbanowski, chairman F38.

Committee F38 encourages participation in its standards developing activities. “The user community for these standards is vast,” says Wierzbanowski. “Feedback on what works and what doesn’t during these early stages of sUAS operation is critical.”

F2908 is under the jurisdiction of F38.03 on Personnel Training, Qualification and Certification, and F2909 was developed by F38.02 on Flight Operations. The other five new standards are under the jurisdiction of F38.01 on Airworthiness.

To purchase ASTM standards, visit and search by the standard designation, or contact ASTM Customer Relations (phone: 877-909-ASTM; [email protected]).

CONTACT Technical Information: Theodore J. Wierzbanowski • Punta Gorda, Fla. • Phone: 626-429-8864 | ASTM Staff: Stephen Mawn • Phone: 610-832-9726


The ASTM response to Patrick

Dear Mr. Egan;

Your recent article entitled “ASTM Advertises F38 Standards for Sale” in sUAS News has been brought to my attention.

For over 115 years, ASTM has served society as a not-for-profit standards development organization.  As you noted, voluntary consensus standards developed by ASTM are sometimes cited by government regulations and laws as tools that help to protect society and promote health, safety, and the environment.   ASTM has a policy of being flexible and reasonable in working with Federal agencies and routinely provides public access – at no cost – to ASTM standards during the public review and comment period of proposed rulemakings that seek to incorporate ASTM standards.  In addition, ASTM provides public access – at no cost – to over 1,000 standards that are incorporated by reference in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations through the Reading Room on our ASTM web site:

There are many costs in the process of developing, publishing, and maintaining voluntary consensus standards.  ASTM receives no Federal or State funding to underwrite such costs.  The model that ASTM has chosen to pay for our standards development activities is one that requires payment by end users of our documents, rather than front-loaded standards development fees charged to industry, governments and other important stakeholders such as consumer and environmental advocacy organizations.  Because the costs of developing our standards are spread out among thousands of users who buy standards on a reasonable basis, ASTM is able to keep the barriers to participation in the process very low.  As a result, over 50 percent of participants in our standards development activities come from small and medium sized companies.

The revenue ASTM receives from the distribution of our standards is invested to meet commitments to our members and stakeholders, and to ensure the long-term vibrancy of our standards development activities.  We have looked at other systems and we continue to find that our current model of standards development and distribution is the most effective way to protect the public, meet the needs of government, and ensure that ASTM can continue to provide value and innovate to meet new challenges of the future. 


James A. Thomas

President, ASTM International

Up for being withdrawn last week this standard:-

ASTM WK45384

Work Item: ASTM WK45384 – Withdrawal of F2636 – 08 Standard Practice for Commercial Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Pilot Practical Test Standards for Unmanned Aircraft Single-Engine Land (SEL) Remote Control and Autonomous/Semiautonomous

This standard is being balloted for withdrawal with no replacement because ASTM F-38 EXCOM has reviewed the Standard and recommends withdrawal since the FAA and most Civil Aviation Authorities will retain the lead in establishing Pilot Practical Test Standards for UAS. In addition the review found the terminology used no longer applicable in currently accepted usage. This standard is being balloted for withdrawal with no replacement.

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