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107 air space waiver

Discussion in 'Rules and Regulations' started by cdusher, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. cdusher

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    I have my remote pilot cert. There is class e(sfc) airport in the general area.
    Thinking applying for a waiver to take a real estate pic in that area is probably not practical.
    They want times and dates on the application.
    When you have no idea how long that the process is going to take how is that possible?
    If it's a month later what's the use.
    Hoping I'm missing something here.
     
  2. MichaelS

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    And you need to file for the waiver 90 days in advance!
     
  3. MapMaker53

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    My understanding is that waivers are for exceptions to the regulations. Current regs say you simply have to notify an airport of your intended flight and get the ok from them. But, in this case, you are saying it is a Class E airport (airspace?) According to the Remote Pilot - Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Study Guide: "In most cases, a remote pilot will not need ATC authorization to operate in Class E airspace." So there really is no need for you to obtain a waiver for that particular situation. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.
     
  4. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    The OP is talking about flying under Part 107 Commercial UAS operations not as a hobbyist.

    You're not missing anything and that is exactly what you are legally required to do. The good news is the 90 day period is a worse case. Depending on work load, complexity of the request, and other factors it could be just a few days. Only time will tell for sure though.
     
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  5. MapMaker53

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    I'm confused, BigAI07. What I quoted is from the FAA study guide for the commercial sUAS exam for the remote pilot certificate. I don't see where it says that one needs a waiver to fly in E Airspace. Can you unravel my confusion? I'm talking about commercial sUAS usage once a remote pilot certificate is granted. Is it the "sfc" aspect of the airport? I don't know what that abbreviation represents. Thanks.
     
  6. Richard R

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    Part 107 says the a commercial pilot cannot fly into controlled airspace (Class B, C, D and E) with out prior authorization. Class E (sfc) (means that the floor of the airspace begins at the ground) is the only Class E that we could fly in since the others have floors of either 700 or 1200 ft AGL. We don't ask for a waiver for that just authorization. and that is obtained on the same webpage as the waiver. You just click on the Authorization button and fill in the blanks. You can ask for authorization for a specific time and place, or for a span of time. Once approved, you may have specific instructions on things to do before each flight. Note: the FAA specifically doesn't want UAS pilots to contact ATC directly as manned aircraft pilots do. I have the same situation since the Class E (sfc) airspace at my local airport covers the southern have of the town and a major portion of the county whee i am likely to want to fly for real estate and other photo flights. I plan to request authorization for the entire Class E space over a period of 60 days with operations from 0900 to 1600 Local time. I'll let the group know how it goes.
     
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  7. SkyPixel

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    I heard late yesterday from one of the top online UAV Ground Schools the following schedule for approving airspace authorization. If this is true, it my be a little while before we can fly for profit... I'm hoping airspace authorization request turn-arounds are fairly quick once they decide to start reviewing them, otherwise as the OP mentioned, what's the use.

    Tentative Schedule for FAA Airspace Approvals:
    • 10/3 - Class D and Class E SFC
    • 10/31 - Class C
    • 12/5 - Class B
     
  8. cdusher

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    Well just to confuse the issue I called the "contact us" number listed on the waiver site.
    Actually had someone answer the phone (big surprise).
    I explained to him what the situation is, remote pilots cert., class e to surface airspace, etc.
    He put me on hold for several minutes while he presented the question to his supervisor.
    He advised me that a letter from the airport would suffice.
    I'm thinking they may be as confused at I am.
    Really don't think I got the proper info.
     
  9. Richard R

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    The clock is ticking, I just finished and submitted the online form requesting authorization to fly in my local Class E(sfc) airspace.
    I agree! All requests for waivers or authorization have to go through the website!
     
  10. cdusher

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    Just spoke with a gentleman at our airport and he pointed out that they really need to know as they have a lot of low flying aircraft that are not predictable in advance. Going to talk the the airport manager this afternoon.
    Guessing even if you do need faa authorization one should also advise the airport due to current conditions.
     
  11. GMack

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    I agree. I've been that route with the USFS to take commercial photos in the forest. Time: 2 weeks to 2 months which is absurd due to weather changes and rivers drying up while the process unfolds. Then you also get to deal with sundry permits by the local agencies who want their share of the commercial money too, like parking your car for $1,600 (Not kidding!) by road's dept. Cost ran over $2,000 for 3 hours - legally.

    I wouldn't at all be surprised even with a waiver you will need a commercial shoot permit by the local film commissioner's office. Maybe even a one-day business license from the city you're in within a large metro too. FilmLA will glady take your $660 to start the permit process for a day of commercial shooting - if you want to do it legally in LA. That or drop a few thousand for a credit with them to draw from that makes the process faster - maybe.

    Dealing with bureaucracy can be an eye opener. Okay, a wallet opener too.
     
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  12. Jkrens

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    No, the FAA notifies the ATC and issues a NOTAM. I will not be communicating at all with local airports, as directed by the FAA. Neither should you.
     
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  13. MapMaker53

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    I really don't see how this waiver/authorization system is going to be workable for any business that has a need to fly an sUAS in a timely manner to meet business deadlines. Long Island is virtually covered with wall to wall controlled airspace with multiple major airports in the area. Can you imagine waiting 90 days to photograph each home for sale you need to fly for a real estate company? Or to photograph an event on short notice for an organization? Or TV news crews going out to film a fire or accident? Or search and rescue? Unless there is a quicker system in place that will give operators a reasonably fast ATC thumbs up or thumbs down for a short flight in the area, I think many may forgo the waiver step to get in a quick low-altitude flight -- or I suppose they will just fly momentarily as a hobbyist.
     
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  14. N42742

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    Waivers are authorization to deviate from the regulations. They're the thing that the FAA says to wait 90 days for.

    Airspace authorizations are not waivers and you won't have to wait 90 days to get one. The FAA is expected to begin giving airspace authorizations the first week of October.
     
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  15. MapMaker53

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    Thanks for the info N42742. I'll be interested to see how that works. I've called a couple of local airports and inquired about authorization as a recreational flyer. I asked if they wanted to be bothered if I intend to fly entirely below tree top level within 5NM of the airport for the purpose of practicing and testing new equipment. One airport said there was really no need to call them in that case but to keep it below the trees. The manager of the other major airport wanted me to call each time and gave me a phone number to call. When I called the number a few weeks later it turned out to be their airport fire & rescue department, and the guy had no idea what to do with my request but took down my cell number and flying location at my suggestion. Seems pretty disorganized out there at the moment.
     
    #15 MapMaker53, Sep 8, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
  16. cdusher

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    Yeah, I mis-worded the original post. thanks for the October info.
     
  17. cdusher

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    One thing I noticed on the waiver site pertaining to airspace authorization once you check the box lat and long are required.
    Apperently airspace authorization has to be site specific.
    Could well mean multiple requests.
     
  18. QuadZmoto

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    When flying in class C airspace, I always call the tower for authorizations. Talked to the tower supervisor and never had an issue. Most of the time, their thanking me for calling. Tell them when I would like to fly. They just ask to call back when I've completed the flight to close it out. Obviously it's different throughout the country.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots
     
  19. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Once Part 107 was "Officially" released it became standardized across the county. For those operating under Part 107 you do NOT want to go against the FAA directive to NOT contact ATC directly. Use the online portal for Airspace and everyone will be on the same page.
     
  20. Phil Tuggle

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    NOT disagreeing here AT ALL, but where is that FAA instruction not to call. Do you have a link - I missed it even though I know you are right. I can't seem to find it but want to print it out for my "FAA Folder" - yeah, I am bit persnickety about keeping papers. Right now, the ONLY place I can find this is on the FAA UAS "frequently asked questions page," and nowhere else - nothing to back it up that I can find: Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Frequently Asked Questions/Help .

    By the way, I just spoke with a tower person (at -unnamed- small airport) and she said, "We've heard about the new system but really think it is a better idea to call." Seems the water is a little muddy with some. It will work out - it has to.
     
    #20 Phil Tuggle, Sep 9, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016