“Westlake High School Drone Class receives approval for a FRIA from the FAA”

The Westlake High School Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Drone Technology class just received approval for a FRIA from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after submitting four different amendments to the application and waiting just over 4 weeks for the final word.

A FRIA (FAA-Recognized Identification Area) is a defined geographic area where drones can be flown without the now-required remote ID equipment. According to this regulation, both the drone and the pilot must be located within the FRIA’s boundaries throughout the operation.  In addition, the pilot of the drone must be able to see it at all times throughout the duration of the flight.

Westlake High School is the only known educational institution in Cuyahoga County to have received approval for a FRIA designation.  Currently, there are 8 other approved educational FRIA’s in the entire state.

Only FAA-recognized Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and educational institutions such as primary and secondary schools, trade schools, colleges, and universities are eligible to request the establishment of a FRIA.  An example of a CBO could be a model aircraft club.

Some of the details of the approved FRIA include the defined area being restricted to the Westlake High School drone class (not open to the public), the need to secure airspace authorization before every flight since the school is located in Class “B” airspace, no flights are to be conducted over people, residential homes, or roads, and students being required to hold a current Part 107 license or pass the Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) beforehand.

The boundaries of the FRIA are illustrated below.

Click HERE to see the designated FRIA areas in Ohio…..


Click HERE to read more information about a FRIA from the official FAA website.


The Westlake High School Drone class FRIA is active for four years so it will expire on April 30, 2028.

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