Kirk

LAX airspace question help.

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So I have a need to shoot photo in a city called El Segundo, ca. It is located directly south of LAX. Now as I study the map I note the area that is the city limit does not extend to the beach, shows a obstacle 462 ft (buildings), 2,500 ft floor east of the city, and the B airspace has a 5,000 ft floor. In my estimation I have no airspace issues with this city. My only issue is the 3 mile from airport rule. So when asking for waiver do I only ask for relief to operate within the city limits of El Segundo? I know you guys are smarter Then I am so you'll have some input.

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Isn't it five miles?  Not that in this case it really matters.  The link you provided is for Seattle.

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@Av8Chuck the link I provided is of the entire US. It's interactive so just go south of where you were to Los Angeles.

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2 hours ago, Kirk said:

So I have a need to shoot photo in a city called El Segundo, ca. It is located directly south of LAX. Now as I study the map I note the area that is the city limit does not extend to the beach, shows a obstacle 462 ft (buildings), 2,500 ft floor east of the city, and the B airspace has a 5,000 ft floor. In my estimation I have no airspace issues with this city. My only issue is the 3 mile from airport rule. So when asking for waiver do I only ask for relief to operate within the city limits of El Segundo? I know you guys are smarter Then I am so you'll have some input.

5945b428c664e_ScreenShot2017-06-17at3_56_59PM.png.28ca83fadfdef591ad6149467f1cf557.png

According to the UAS Facility map that area is class D from 0 to 2500 ft 

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See this is why I asked the question here. Just looking at the sectional there is a lot going on in that area. @Spitfire76 I've not seen the "UAS facility map" you screen captured here. I'm going to google it but while I'm here. Where did you get that app or software?

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@Spitfire76 ahhh! That is the FAA's maps. When they first went online I tried to use it put their maps were not online and I haven't been back since. That sure makes things a lot easier to work with. Thanks!

Edited by Kirk

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18 minutes ago, Kirk said:

See this is why I asked the question here. Just looking at the sectional there is a lot going on in that area. @Spitfire76 I've not seen the "UAS facility map" you screen captured here. I'm going to google it but while I'm here. Where did you get that app or software?

Its a new set of maps that the FAA is providing for UAS pilots to help with airspace authorization particularly around airports. Click on "The maps" link in the first paragraph. 

https://www.faa.gov/uas/request_waiver/uas_facility_maps/

Screen Shot 2017-06-17 at 7.44.33 PM.png

The sectional map is not so clear as that section of D airspace borders B airspace on 2 sides. The [25] of course means a D airspace ceiling of 2500 ft.

 

Edited by Spitfire76

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On 6/17/2017 at 9:35 PM, Kirk said:

See this is why I asked the question here. Just looking at the sectional there is a lot going on in that area. @Spitfire76 I've not seen the "UAS facility map" you screen captured here. I'm going to google it but while I'm here. Where did you get that app or software?

As long as you fly within the triangle shown on the map below you are operating in Class D airspace and would need to file for authorization or a waiver. To the north of the triangle shown is Class B airspace from SFC - 10000ft MSL and you are unlikely to receive authorization to fly there.

Capture.JPG

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Already done. I filed 3 separate requests 3 weeks ago. Just got the confirmation this morning from the FAA.

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14 hours ago, Kirk said:

Already done. I filed 3 separate requests 3 weeks ago. Just got the confirmation this morning from the FAA.

Provided that there were not any errors in the applications, you should have your paperwork back shortly.

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Hey guys,  I know this is an older post but have some info re:  LAX airspace and El Segundo particularly.

I live and work in El Segundo and have ran though this puzzle as well.

According to the KLAX FAA guy for UAS (Elliott Brann),  The area south of the southern runway that encompasses El Segundo is Class Delta while Hawthorn Airport (HHR) is open/in service, otherwise it is Class G.

There is a similar triangle of airspace on the north side of the airport as well (Westchester). 
Both areas have a note stating: "See NOTAM/Supplement for Class D effective hours".

Per the FAA UAS Facility Maps,  the residential portion of El Segundo is restricted and shows a "zero" in the box.  For my understanding, this means we'll need authorization as has already been pointed out.  Most likely due to proximity of LAX 25L and Bravo airspace proximity.

 

LAX-airspace.jpg

FAA_FacilityMap_ElSegundo.JPG

Edited by LarryB

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15 hours ago, LarryB said:

According to the KLAX FAA guy for UAS (Elliott Brann),  The area south of the southern runway that encompasses El Segundo is Class Delta while Hawthorn Airport (HHR) is open/in service, otherwise it is Class G.

There is a similar triangle of airspace on the north side of the airport as well (Westchester). 
Both areas have a note stating: "See NOTAM/Supplement for Class D effective hours".

As you relayed from the "KLAX FAA guy for UAS", "The area south of the southern runway that encompasses El Segundo is Class D while Hawthorn Airport is open/in service..."   I'd like to encourage us all to be a little more specific in our terminology and references. 

1. To say that the airspace is "Class Delta while Hawthorn Airport (HHR) is open/in service", is not quite accurate as you'll see in the Chart Supplement that I provided for Hawthorne below.  You'll see that the Airport is "Attended"  (e.g. "open" has services such as fuel available) from 1500-0400Z++ (see Airport Remarks) , while the Class D airspace is in effect from 1400-0600Z++.  

2. The note on the VFR Sectional that says, "See NOTAM/Supplement for Class D effective hours", references Chart Supplements that can be downloaded from the FAA's website:

You can download the individual Chart Supplement for the airport or Navaid you're interested in by going to the following link and entering the airport identified KHHR into the search box:  https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/flight_info/aeronav/digital_products/dafd/search

- The Chart Supplement allows you to find the "effective hours" of the airspace that the VFR Sectional is referencing.  What you're looking for is "AIRSPACE: CLASS D svc 1400-0600Z++, other times CLASS G."  Note that you must ensure you are using a publication that is valid for the time calendar dates for your flight.  Second, notice that this airport observes daylight savings time (++ indicator); therefore, you must subtract another hour from the published times to account for this when computing local time during the calendar days that daylight savings time is effective.  Therefore, the Class D situated around KHHR is from 1300-0500Z which is 6:00 AM PDT and 10:00 PM PDT.  

So, assuming you will be shooting during daylight hours the airspace is controlled airspace, Class D and you would need to have a FAA Airspace Authorization.  However, you can shoot in that airspace between the hours of 10:01 PM PDT and 05:59 AM PDT without an FAA Airspace Authorization (because it is Class G), but you would instead need an FAA Night Waiver (which is easier to obtain).

This is slightly more advanced stuff, but knowing this kind of information can help you have a leg up on other drone pilots.

KHHR.png.dada907dc72c9a23ff778806a2225885.png

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I don't think situational awareness should ever be thought of as a competitive advantage.

I mentioned this somewhere in another thread, all of these threads about maps, airspace and waivers are starting to blend together...  but this is a great example of how easy flight planning should be.  

  1. I enter the location I would like to fly.
  2. i enter the time and duration of the flight
  3. Right before I fly, I moisten my finger, raise it into the air and check the weather.  (That's a joke). 
  4. I immediately get a report that informs me whether it is legal to fly
  5. If not, it provides the necessary information to get approval if I want to continue.

its a computer!  That's what it does.  The idea that I have to know where to scoure the Internet for a bunch on charts that were developed in the 1950's is STUPID!  

The FAA and the companies on the various ARC committees have it ass backwards.  You have to wonder why they're making it intentionally difficult!?

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14 minutes ago, Av8Chuck said:

I don't think situational awareness should ever be thought of as a competitive advantage.

I guess we will have to agree to disagree then.  I don't believe FAA Part 107 pilots can't simultaneously complain that the FAA is not giving us any respect while at the same time expecting us not to know all the details that manned aviation pilots know - which includes understanding how the FAA publications work.  My point is that knowing this stuff better than another Part 107 pilot could possibly give you an advantage for your customers in providing them options of when you may and may not be able to shoot in a particular location.  Not to mention, keep you from violating FAA rules.

I'm also a software engineer (as well as an aerospace engineer, and a retired Army helicopter pilot) and I know that trying to satisfy all the cases that we're talking about here is challenging. Eventually the software should be able to do what you're asking, but consider all of the things you're talking about.  Airspace dimensions, airspace altitude, time of day (effective time of airspace), weather (visibility, cloud ceilings), TFRs, visual line of sight, etc.  All of these combined make for a complex answer.

At some point, the UAV pilot needs to be a professional and understand all the variations and not rely on a computer to simply spit out the answer.  That's also why manned aviation still has a man flying the plane - you can't program the computer for every scenario.

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I too am an army helicopter pilot.  The airspace is not that complicated, it's well understood and does not change much.  There is no reason that the process can't be automated without any adverse effect to safety.  The idea that a drone operator has to know the same things as a manned pilot, well if that were the case the FAA would have made it a requirement for part107.

I don't think anyone is complaing that the FAA is not respecting drone operators     iPads are radically changing how pilots fly, the software is capable today.  The issue isn't about capability, it's about execution and the approach the FAA is taking is thoroughly confusing everyone.    

The issue is not whether this wil be automated, obviously it is, the issue is who does the automation and who profits from it.  Also, the FAA does not supply the answer, they provide the authority and the situational awarness and that can most certainly be automated today.  The decision to fly is made by the pilot and the operator.  

It's about time the FAA actually "do" the modernization they've been bilking the taxpayers over the past two decades. 

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Scott does have a point.  Real world example - I was offered a job to shoot a particular building a while back.  That building sits about 1/3 mile from an 8000 foot runway at a non-towered airport and the entire area is in Class E surface airspace during daylight hours (that's rounded off, but close enough).  Given the proximity to that particular airport and the fact that the client wanted 300 AGL shots it was unlikely that FAA would have granted the airspace authorization and further, that the client would wait. But a close look at the FAA Chart Supplement showed that on Sunday mornings, the airport remained Class G until noon time (no idea why).  So I was good to go.  I doubt anyone even knows this around here.  I passed on the job (wasn't worth it) and I'm sure someone just flew it anyway without regard to airspace, but this is an example of doing your home work.  BTW - none of the "apps" reflect Class G sundays only.

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I have a Airframe & Power Plant license, Private Pilot License, UAS Licensee, all from FAA. I spent 30 years as a professional in the aviation industry. Worked with the FAA the whole time. Many of my former co-workers went to work for the FAA. So I say this with experience. The FAA is completely broken. 6 supervisors for every worker. Nothing gets done. They have more manpower working on keeping track of our paperwork than inspectors looking it over.

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1 hour ago, Kirk said:

 The FAA is completely broken. 6 supervisors for every worker. Nothing gets done. They have more manpower working on keeping track of our paperwork than inspectors looking it over.

Amen brother!  I have similar experience with several friends that work for FAA and they all say that it is the most dysfunctional organization they have ever worked for.  In fact, I contacted my U.S. Senator and they opened a Congressional Inquiry into the FAA because of the ridiculously slow pace of getting airspace approved.

And, I agree with @Av8Chuck that we should not be giving the FAA a pass by not expecting them to deliver something they have been promising for YEARS, but until they do, I stick by my statement (and @Ed O'Grady's example) that we need to be professional and know how the Airspace works.  There are several companies out there that are trying to provide the features that we all want to have and trying to fast track LAANC is one way that the FAA is trying to stop the bleeding.

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First to Scott, thanks very much for the thoughtful reply and clarification of terms.  I appreciate it.
Regarding the sentiments about FAA delivering something soon......You guys have heard the news about the LAANC beta test right (referenced above by Scott)?
Check out Skyward and Airmap websites (the two companies with authorization so far)

More questions than answers right now, but they're off and running at a few airports so far.  Some are actually Bravo airspace.

Edited by LarryB
more thoughts!
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I’ve looked st the LAANC. I’m in the California South Bay. So this new offering doesn’t help me. Since I’m thinking about it I will add this little nugget. The company Drone Base emailed me with customer jobs in my area. These jobs were within 1 mile of Torrance airport. No one in this area has authority to fly a drone except for the Torrance police department. I’ve checked on the FAA waiver approved site. Yet each time I get these emails I go to the Drone Base app and the jobs have been taken by someone. This is what pives me. Eventually someone is going to do something stupid and we will all pay. So much for following rules.

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@KirkI agree with you; LAANC doesn't look like it will help me in the near term (next couple of months) since the UAS Facilities Maps that they have published (which will lead up to the LAANC approval areas), let alone the beta test sites, are not in areas that I need approval in.  I submitted via the FAA Airspace request website on 18 March 2017 for Class E surface and Class D near KAPA.  The Class E surface controlled airspace near KAPA should NOT be a difficult approval process.  But it covers 86 square miles of territory that I consistently have to turn work down for.  Last week, I turned down 4 jobs because they all fell within this Class E sfc boundary.  

@LarryB We're all really hopeful that the FAA will be able to get this Fast tracked through Congress.  But, if you are a commercial operator, trying to make a go at this, I recommend you contact your Congressional representatives.  I've done my part by having three conversations with local Denver FSDO reps, a conversation with an FAA rep in a regional office in Texas, and finally contacting my U.S. Congressional representatives and senators.  In turn, they opened up a congressional inquiry for me.  It only takes a few minutes to jump on to their website and tell them your story and how it's affecting you and your business via their online forms.  As a first step, you can find out who to contact by checking out this website: U.S. Congressional Representative and U.S. Senators  A couple of button clicks later, you too can make your voice heard.

 

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For @Kirk - you said you looked at the "FAA waiver approved site"  and no one has authority to fly there.  As you pointed out, the site you are looking at is the "Part 107 Waivers Granted" page of the FAA website.  That has nothing to do with airspace authorizations whatsoever.  You can't see what and where and to whom the FAA has granted airspace authorizations - at least as far as I know and from what FAA has told me.  I wish that were possible, but it's not.

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