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Airspace Authorizations: Hobbyists & Part 107 Commercial

Discussion in 'Rules and Regulations' started by EndlessTrail, Oct 18, 2016 at 7:16 PM.

  1. EndlessTrail

    Oct 7, 2016
    Likes Received:
    When I was studying for the UAS operators test I understood that operators under Part 107 were supposed to contact ATC to get permission for flights within controlled airspaces. Makes sense. Then after I passed the exam I read on an FAA web page that we should NOT contact ATC directly about airspace authorization and instead use the same web page as for Waiver requests. Did anyone else notice this opposing information? I have filed my first airspace authorization through the online form (was careful to click the checkbox for the authorization and not waivers). And the result is the next week I got a blanket response that airspace authorization is going to take up to 90 days just like waivers. And I missed some kind of cutoff date for the most recent batch of requests getting reviewed. I have also heard unofficially that the 90 wait may decrease over time as the process gets hammered out.
  2. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Western North Carolina
    Prior to Part 107 Commercial Operators had to contact the tower. Part 107 introduced the Web Portal for Airspace Authorizations (also waivers but that's another topic).

    Depending on which airspace you're trying to get Authorization it could be a few weeks out. Also where and how high you're wanting to fly could delay your authorization (or get denied).

    Once the system is tweaked some authorizations could be almost instantaneous but that's only for the safe and "easy" ones. Those that are complex or don't fit into the "Easy Box" will need more information or could get kicked down to local for final approval/denial.

    If your "need date" falls outside of the start date for a specific Airspace it will get denied by default so don't ask for authorization in an area that isn't being processed yet.
  3. Enrico Schaefer

    Approved Vendor

    Sep 21, 2016
    Likes Received:
    The rules say ATC permission. The FAA wants to change the rules without going through the proper procedures to require ATC permission through the FAA.gov website. Some pilots are still calling ATC and getting permission. It is doubtful the FAA could violate anyone who calls ATC directly. The FAA is trying to get ATC to stop granting authorizations by phone and tell pilots to use the website.

    We offer free training to help pilots obtained airspace authorization through the website, as well as waivers. See the link below.

    Enrico Schaefer
    UAV Attorney

    Free Part 107 Waiver and Airspace Training Videos. https://www.dronelaw.pro/part-107-waivers/