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Tower Clearance for 5mi from airport???

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by slothead, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. slothead

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    Just now on ABC world News a statement was made that the FAA just (when, I don't really know) issued a directive that said any drone/quad (RC aircraft) operation within 5 miles from an airport needed clearance from the airport's tower. Has anyone heard this before? I hardly ever trust ABC news, but I'd like to know more about this.
     
  2. SilentAV8R

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  3. phantom7

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    January 6, 2014

    Federal Aviation Administration

    Small Unmanned Aircraft
    Small unmanned aircraft (sUAS) are likely to grow most quickly in civil and commercial operations because of their versatility and relatively low initial cost and operating expenses. The FAA is working on a proposed rule governing the use of a wide range of small civil unmanned aircraft systems.
    The 2012 reauthorization bill also directed the FAA to “allow a government public safety agency to operate unmanned aircraft weighing 4.4 pounds or less” under certain restrictions. The bill specified these UAS must be flown within the line of sight of the operator, less than 400 feet above the ground, during daylight conditions, inside Class G (uncontrolled) airspace and more than five miles from any airport or other location with aviation activities.
    Prior to the congressional action, the FAA and the Justice Department had been working on an agreement to streamline the COA process for law enforcement – an agreement that also meets the mandate. Initially, law enforcement organizations will receive a COA for training and performance evaluation. When the organization has shown proficiency in flying its UAS, it will receive an operational COA. The agreement expands the allowable UAS weight up to 25 pounds.
     
  4. phantom7

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  5. slothead

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    If you are referring to this clause "when flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator of the aircraft provides the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower ... with prior notice of the operation...." That is not quite what ABC said (but as I said before, I don't usually trust ABC news very much). Thanks for the reference though - I had seen it before, but never bothered to read all the details.
     
  6. SilentAV8R

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    I think when it comes to this I would go with the actual FAA document and not what ABC had to say.

    The actual law (FMRA Section 336) requires notification only. The June "interpretation" published by the FAA requires explicit permission. If the ATC or airport operator say not to fly, then you cannot fly.

    FWIW, the AMA and others have just sued the FAA over their "interpretation."
     
  7. slothead

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    I guess my concern is also the notification part. My flight is going to be completely unintrusive, but if some pilot got a wild hair and reported something he saw, I'm sure I would be the only quad-pilot that would have sent notification, so I would be the "suspect" (even if there were a couple dozen quad-fliers in the area).

    I say this because my home is within 3-4 miles of a small local airport and I would like to be able to fly close to my home. What makes things worse is that the Washington D.C. area no-fly zone is not all that far away, in fact, our local airport is where many of the DC zone violators are escorted to land (and arrested).
     
  8. Suwaneeguy

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    The US Congress has already stated, in law, that the FAA has NO jurisdiction over hobby remote control aircraft.
    Apparently, the FAA fails to understand the word "NO".
    What you have read is a guideline. Always has been since 1981.
    It is not a law.
    The FAA has been challenged twice in the courts now and both times the FAA lost.

    Any more, I am tempted to go to my local airport, park just outside the fence, and launch the bird and pilot it right smack in the tower's face!

    The flying field I use is just at the 5 mile range limit and the guys fly their fixed wing birds every day without ever notifying the tower.

    In my opinion, the FAA is just pushing the issue to see how far they can take it and will continue doing so regardless of how many times they get slapped.