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Airport Notification understanding

Discussion in 'Rules and Regulations' started by JesterPhotog, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. JesterPhotog

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    So my understanding is this:

    If you are a hobbyist you just have to tell the local airport (within 5 miles) that you are operating. No permission needed.

    But if you are a Part 107 Commercial UAV you need to ask permission via an online form.

    So when are they supposed to get back to you and let you know you can operate within the 5 miles of an Airport?

    This will put all the Real Estate drone operators out of business. By the time the FAA/ATC grants permission for the flight, the house they are trying to photograph will be off the market. This obviously can delay assignments/missions/jobs, etc. for days or weeks. Timely events will not take place. The new agencies can only use the UAVs when they are not near an airport i guess.

    I'm in Seattle. Everywhere around the Seattle proper is within 5 miles of an airport, heliport, seaport, etc.

    Can't believe the hobbyist is trusted more than the commercial/certified operator.

    Thoughts? Understandings?

    From the www.faa.gov/uas/faqs website:
    1. How do I request permission from Air Traffic Control to operate in Class B, C, D, or E airspace? Is there a way to request permission electronically?
      You can request airspace authorization through an online web portal available at www.faa.gov/uas/request_waiver.

    2. Can I contact my local air traffic control tower or facility directly to request airspace permission?
      No. All airspace permission requests must be made through the online portal.
     
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  2. Ray of Light

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    This part of the rule is baffling to me as well. How do they let a hobbyist easily fly around controlled airspace with a simple phone call while the commercial folks (who are more educated in air traffic and have to pass an exam on it) are more strictly controlled and have to go through a more lengthy approval process? o_O
     
  3. Woodsong

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    There is no language in the part 107 rules saying to fly commercially via part 107 license you need permission if within 5 miles of airport...it is tied to approval needed for entering class B,C,D, or E airspace, not mileage from airport.
    5 Mile from airport rule applies to hobby flying, Part 107 flying must abide by the rules in this PDF from the FAA (which again ties ability to fly to airspace class not distance from airport):
    https://www.faa.gov/UAS/media/Part_107_Summary.pdf
     
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  4. Falcon900

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    The important distinction here is whether the airport is in uncontrolled airspace (Class G). If so, operating under part 107, no notification is necessary, even if flying ON the airport. Good sense and safety requires some sort of co-ordination with the airport operator/users if you will be flying a sUAS on the airport. It is my belief that this provision alone justifies getting the Remote Pilot Certificate if you will frequently operate a sUAS near an airport in class G airspace.
     
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  5. Woodsong

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    Here is a great infographic on the airmap website explaining notification under the 3 allowed scenarios (Part 107, Section 333, and Hobby flying):
    Operator Infographic – AirMap
     
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  6. Stealth Tours

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    I'm not understanding a number of items: to enter airspace B, C, D, or E....isn't that done strictly by a 2 way radio to the tower controlling that airspace? So how is this online form suppose to help us operate in a timely manner? In 6 months of trying to contact Airmap in Santa Monica, Ca., they have NEVER responded to their "contact us" process, "email", "phone call" or "message system" on the phone.
     
  7. Jkrens

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    For the moment, all airspace auths will be done by HQ and the ATC will be notified. You will not need a radio.

    And it isn't helping us operate in a timely matter. Unfortunately it is the way it is for now.
     
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  8. Stealth Tours

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    TY Jkrens for your answer. My confidence level is below the deck at this moment...I'm past 48 hours, looking for some green button to allow me to progress further with processing my application, hoping the TSA will do something next, that I might get an EMAIL....they ONCE AGAIN have not thought this out very well having been tasked since 2009 to do SOMETHING. I can see this online form would like VERY SPECIFIC dates, times and then sometime in the future the weather would make flight UNSAFE.
     
  9. Jkrens

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    Green button? I assume you took the exam... Youre still waiting for your results to be uploaded?
     
  10. Stealth Tours

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    Yes, correct. Passed Tuesday morning and some say somewhere on my application process, my results should be uploaded whereby some "green button" appears. Then I'm not sure if the "proctor" does something on his own, I have to contact him....just not sure. I was able to get to the point of the FAA assigning a file number to my application, my profile information is there but it says there is no test results available or something like that.
     
  11. Richard R

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    In my neighborhood, the local airport has closed the tower, but has instrument approaches. So, I can fly without notice or authorization right beside it, but have to get preauthization to fly 5-7 miles east in the Class E (sfc) area. Going to have to work this out because the southern half of my hometown and surrounding areas is in the Class E space and that's where a large portion of my potential residential real estate business will likely come from!
     
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  12. Bob N

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    The "green button" is much later! First you have to find your exam by looking it up with the 17 (or there abouts) number that is on your test results. Then you "attached it" to your applications and then after several days the green button automagically appears with your temporary cert...assuming all is well.
     
  13. jw1

    jw1

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    Ok. I want to make absolutely sure I understand things. The other day, I called the local airport to notify it that I intended to fly my Phantom below 400 ft. I am about 1/2 mile from the airport and in the landing pattern, but I thought that 400 ft and below was outside of the landing pattern. I was told I didn't have permission because a plane was expected, and that I would have to wait and call back later to find out if the plane had landed. Can controllers prohibit flights that are conducted according to the rules for hobbyists. I would certainly avoid any visible aircraft. What is the proper interpretation, and, if I did have the right to fly, what should I tell the controller if this happens again. I'm a little afraid that once the controllers think that they can stop flights, they'll start using this justification at all times.
     
  14. Richard R

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    Yes, while airports are not supposed to arbitrarily deny flights when you notify them, they may ask you not to fly if there is something going on that might cause a problem. Obviously, an aircraft on approach would be such a situation. Depending on where you are in relation to the end of the runway, the incoming aircraft could be at or below 400 ft. Again, they can ask you not to fly and if you ignore them, the FAA can consider that reckless operations that can get you into trouble regardless of what type of flying you are doing.
     
  15. Falcon900

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    Some questions for you:
    Are you flying under part 107 with a 107 certificate?
    Is the airport Controlled (Control Tower) or uncontrolled airport in Class G airspace?
    The answer will depend on these questions.
     
  16. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    (Color, bold, and increased font size above by me for emphasis)
    While they don't give "permission" for HOBBY flights they can most surely deny. You can go ahead and fly but if it poses a threat to SAFETY you can get your bottom dollar you'll get a visit from legal authorities and might get some "media attention" that you don't want. It's just not worth the risk.

    1/2 mile and 400' IN THE LANDING pattern is not a place I'd want to fly any sUAS.

    It's their responsibility to maintain SAFE flight areas and if denying you a flight accomplishes this then that's something you'll have to work around. They shouldn't arbitrarily deny all sUAS flights but there are certain situations where flights will always be denied. I'm afraid at 1/2m, 400', on an approach pattern is most likely going to be a no go more often than not. Also keep in mind that the distance in question isn't from the edge/perimeter or the airport but from the published Airport Reference Point which is usually fairly center of the airport. You can find the exact location by searching online for the airport in question.
     
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