National Wildfire Coordinating Group

UAS Program Administration

Program Administration

Agencies are responsible for oversight and management of their respective UAS programs. National, regional, and state agency program managers are delegated by their respective agencies. To develop a standardized interagency program, the following roles and responsibilities of interagency program management are provided:

  1. Coordinate with agency program managers, the Interagency Fire UAS Subcommittee (IFUASS), and interagency UAS personnel.
  2. Coordinate with other agency program managers to update the national resource qualifications roster (Incident Qualifications and Certification System – IQCS).
  3. Participate on interagency working groups, committees, and subcommittees.
  4. Collaborate to develop owned, contracted, and cooperator interagency UAS aircraft, pilot specifications and approval standards.
  5. Provide quality assurance and oversight of operational and training performance standards.
  6. Distribute UAS program information on an interagency basis.
  7. Coordinate with agencies that have a desire to develop or enhance a UAS program.
  8. Coordinate operational standards with international cooperators.
  9. Provide input to the revision of the NWCG Standards for Fire Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations, PMS 515, and interagency training management system.
  10. Additional roles and responsibilities may be assigned based on agency specific needs.


  1. Department of Interior (DOI) agencies operate under 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 107 (Federal Aviation Administration [FAA] Small UAS Rule), DOI Operational Procedures Memoranda (OPM) 11, and national aviation plans.
  2. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service operates under 14CFR, Part 107 (FAA Small UAS Rule); Forest Service Manual (FSM) 5700; Forest Service Handbook (FSH) 5709.16; Forest Service Standards for Unmanned Aircraft Systems; and national and regional aviation plans.
  3. State agencies shall follow their agency guidance.
  4. The procedures in this publication pertain to fire/incident (unplanned/emergency) operations only. Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) operations on a fire after it has been declared out are considered a planned project and will adhere to departmental and agency specific UAS planning processes for UAS projects.
  5. UAS aerial ignition operations shall be conducted in accordance with provisions contained in this publication and in the National Interagency Aviation Committee (NIAC) Memo 19-02, Interim Approval of UAS Aerial Ignition Payload.





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