Steve Bennett

Visualize FAA UAS Data on a Map

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Steve these are all Class E facilities.  I'm sure there are others that are not yet listed, but those that are listed are class E.  And for @Uaviator53, they listened - they deleted the E2-E6 designations in the final release.  They simply show Class E.  I'm lucky here.  My 2 airports of interest are both in the release.

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1 hour ago, Uaviator53 said:

Guess Phoenix and Tucson will be on the next release. But sure glad they got Blythe, Ca, the mecca of aviation......

 

xD nailed it!

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1 hour ago, Ed O'Grady said:

Steve these are all Class E facilities.  I'm sure there are others that are not yet listed, but those that are listed are class E.  And for @Uaviator53, they listened - they deleted the E2-E6 designations in the final release.  They simply show Class E.  I'm lucky here.  My 2 airports of interest are both in the release.

Yeah, I was hoping for something more substantial. Serves me right to get my hopes up!

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In looking at a site I have been asked to fly commercially (I do have my part 107....thanks UAV Coach!), it appears the grids that the site are located in are marked "0" and "50" on the VisualizeFAA UAS DATA page. I believe these are the maximum heights of flight that stand a chance of being approved. If correct, does this mean I can potentially get authorization to fly half the site at 50' but not the other half? Would it be worth the effort to apply for the authorization if this is the case? I have attached a pic of the screen from the FAA site with the area of interest circled in red. 

Arrow-Pit.jpg

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Jim,  to be honest,  I would be very surprised if you were given access to the area depicted as "0".  It doesn't cost anything to try though.   You might get in touch with EMT tower at a slow time and discuss what you would like to do and ask them for help.  Usually airspace clearances are discussed with the facility involved before the yes/no decision is made.  (At this point anyway).  If tower personnel are of the opinion that they wouldn't  approve of it no matter what,  then you can save yourself a lot of wait and see time.

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Thanks Dave. I didn't think we would be able to get the authorization, but it was worth asking about. I'm going to take your suggestion and make contact with the tower and see what they think. If we can come up with a good enough plan for them then I will try it with the FAA. Enjoy the weekend!

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Let us know how it goes with contacting the tower.  Two of the local towers around here, KCMA and KOXR won't even consider drone-related issues.  Curious if this is a local thing or if it's a decision by the airport manager (both are managed by the same department) or a broader FAA policy.

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1 hour ago, Av8Chuck said:

Let us know how it goes with contacting the tower.  Two of the local towers around here, KCMA and KOXR won't even consider drone-related issues.  Curious if this is a local thing or if it's a decision by the airport manager (both are managed by the same department) or a broader FAA policy.

From what I understand,  they won't (and are not supposed to) provide clearance.  However I was told by the subcontracting agent that was working on an airspace waiver for me that they check with the controlling agency (the tower) as part of their process.

My advice to Jim was not to get clearance from the tower;  just to get their input.  My waivers in class D require me to call the tower on the phone before and after operation, and to be available to receive their call during.  I suspect they would rather not be bothered because in reality there is no factor.  But it is what we've got for now.

Edited by Dave Pitman

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Av8Chuck: Once I get a plan together I am going to attempt to contact the tower as suggested by Dave to see what they think before I apply for a waiver. I will let you know how that goes. 

As an FYI...I attempted to contact KCMA as well ( I live in that area) with some questions and had no luck either. 

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So I made contact with the tower at El Monte airport this morning. The lady was very friendly and listened to my proposal. When I asked how she felt about our plan, her response was "you need to start with the FAA website and go from there. Our only concern is that you do not interfere with flight operations and the FAA will coordinate with us after you apply". Fair enough, but I did get the feeling that she was not willing to discuss options or concerns with our plan.....I can't really blame her for that as I'm sure she didn't want it to seem as if she was giving approval to us.

Maybe that is the reason some airports are not willing to talk with drone operators, they don't want to give the impression that they are/will approve your flight plan. 

 

Interesting to note that when I asked for her name she said "my initials are BS"....... 

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On 10/2/2017 at 9:57 AM, Jim Bruss said:

So I made contact with the tower at El Monte airport this morning. The lady was very friendly and listened to my proposal. When I asked how she felt about our plan, her response was "you need to start with the FAA website and go from there. Our only concern is that you do not interfere with flight operations and the FAA will coordinate with us after you apply". Fair enough, but I did get the feeling that she was not willing to discuss options or concerns with our plan.....I can't really blame her for that as I'm sure she didn't want it to seem as if she was giving approval to us.

Maybe that is the reason some airports are not willing to talk with drone operators, they don't want to give the impression that they are/will approve your flight plan. 

 

Interesting to note that when I asked for her name she said "my initials are BS"....... 

I've had outstanding airspace authorization requests to fly in that airspace since November of last year to fly near the mission in San Gabriel, never did receive it before I left my last job and went to work elsewhere.. I've had other authorizations to fly in that same airspace near Workman Mill Rd and E Valley Blvd. that was approved within 30 days. 

I would suggest 2 separate requests should be submitted. One for the 50 grid and one for the 0 grid.

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Also, it's nice to see they've made progress in adding more airspace grids around my area on the arc-gis portal. Definitely helpful in planning authorization requests.

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I realize this is probably just me, but I really don't understand why this has to be so difficult and why anyone has to go to more than one website to get all the permission and situational awareness needed.

The approvals seem so arbitrary, a lot may have changed between the time you request permission and actually fly, or nothing has changed, either way, it doesn't seem to me to make much difference.

I don't understand why this can't be a real-time automated process.  

 

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No, it's not just you, Chuck.  In my opinion, the FAA is really dropping the ball here and doing all of us and themselves a great disservice.

For airspace related operations,  there should be a straight forward prescriptive path to operate legally.  The ceiling grids are great, but they shouldn't be a planning tool in order to request an approval to operate.  They should be one element in what is required in order to operate in a given airspace without the need for some FAA subcontractor to decide anything.  The FAA needs to establish standardized regulations depicting what is required to operate in a given airspace just like they do with full scale.

The current approach of asking operators to guess as to what a particular FAA contractor wants to hear in order to approve an operation is simply asinine, IMHO.

Part 107 in it's current form is a good start but it is by no means complete.  They (the FAA) needs to get on with it. 

 

Edited by Dave Pitman

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Thanks Steve, I actually submitted 2 requests as we have another site right down the street we are looking to fly. I received my confirmation from the FAA that they got them about a week later. Hopefully we can get some sort of authorization....even for just one site. I think they will get this streamlined soon and it will be much better for everyone!

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On 10/10/2017 at 5:16 PM, Av8Chuck said:

I realize this is probably just me, but I really don't understand why this has to be so difficult and why anyone has to go to more than one website to get all the permission and situational awareness needed.

The approvals seem so arbitrary, a lot may have changed between the time you request permission and actually fly, or nothing has changed, either way, it doesn't seem to me to make much difference.

I don't understand why this can't be a real-time automated process.  

 

@Av8Chuck I'll re-iterate what @Up Sonder said back in May in this thread, the FAA is trying to roll out an automated process called LAANC and they claim that it will be operational by June 2018, but I'm skeptical that they will meet these dates.  The FAA's ArcGIS site is displaying the grids that the automated system will be able to use to get immediate approval for a pilot to fly.  I have no idea if this means that drones will then be Geo-Fenced to prevent them from incursions, or if it will still be the UAV Pilot's responsibility to remain within the grid and altitude restrictions that they are approved for.  LAANC is a pre-cursor to UTM (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Traffic Management) that is being worked on by NASA and then being transferred to the FAA by 2019. 

Edited by ScottF

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As an update....I received our authorization today to fly the site with the altitude restricted to the published figures. So 50' on half the site and 0' on the other. In order to fly the area allowed, it will be 11 batteries and just over 3 hours! It's only an 11 acre site. But at least we did get authorization! 

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On 4/7/2017 at 9:03 PM, Uaviator53 said:

Began flying in 1969, but never heard of class E1 through E6 airspace. Can't find any definitions on the FAA website. Anyone knows? No guesses please. A link would be great....

This has been bugging me as well. I just found this 

E2  The Class E airspace areas are designated as a surface area for an airport.

E3  The Class E airspace areas consist of airspace extending upward from the surface designated as an extension to a Class C surface area.

E3A  The Class E airspace areas consist of airspace extending upward from the surface and designated as an extension to a Class B surface area.

 E4  The Class E airspace areas consist of airspace extending upward from the surface designated as an extension to a Class D or Class E surface area.

 E5  The Class E airspace areas extend upward from 700 feet or more above the surface of the earth when designated in conjunction with an airport for which an approved instrument procedure has been prescribed, or from 1,200 feet or more above the surface of the earth when designated in conjunction with segments of airways or routes. When a Class E airspace area is designated in conjunction with an airway or route, the designation has the lateral extent identical to that of a Federal airway and extends upward from 1,200 feet or higher unless otherwise specified.

 E6  The Class E airspace areas extend upward from a specified altitude and are en route domestic airspace areas that provide controlled airspace in those areas where there is a requirement to provide IFR en route air traffic control services but the Federal airway structure is inadequate.

 

 

http://www.terps.com/surface/E2 through E6 Airspace Areas.doc

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