I started following this topic after I submitted my first group of waiver requests. Here has been my experience:
I submitted my first request on 1/31 for an airspace waiver. Like everyone else, I was left wondering if it was actually received. Since I live in an MSA with one class C airport surround by 4 municipal airports that are either class D or E, the majority of my clients' request are going to fall in controlled airspace. Not knowing how the first one was going to turn out, I submitted 3 additional requests, all for airspace waivers, on 2/2.
I got a call yesterday (2/8) from the FAA rep who was assigned to one of my requests (ironically, not the first request submitted). He was very cordial and told me he was calling for a couple reasons. I put May 2nd as the date that I wanted to fly, so he was curious if that was the actual date I wanted to fly or if I did that to make sure the FAA had 90 days to review the request. I told him it was because of the latter, and frankly, I need to get out there as soon as possible. He said he would change the dates to the following Monday (2/13) and make it effective for 7 days to give me time to get out there depending on weather. Next, he noticed I requested 400' AGL and wanted to know if that's what I had to have or if I would accept 100'. I asked why, and he said that he could approve the 100' today without any additional research or coordination. But, if I really wanted the 400', it was going to take additional time to get that approved and coordinate with ATC. I told him that I'd take the 100', and if that wasn't satisfactory to my clients, I'd reapply for the 400'. I asked though, if I did want to reapply, what was it going to take to get that approved? I told him I had access to a 2-way radio, could communicate with ATC, etc., etc. He told me that I needed to explain all of that in my description of operation, but that given the proximity to the airport, he'd have to do some more work on his end to get that approved. I didn't get the sense that he didn't want to do the work, but more that he was trying to expedite the process for me...if I could live with 100' he could move on to the next request... I asked him to confirm that the next step was going to be that I got the approved waiver emailed to me. He acknowledged that unfortunately there's not a notification process because they are still "building the system as they go," but the next steps were for him to send the waiver to headquarters for signature, headquarters would send it back to him, he'd then email it to me and ATC. He didn't know how long that would take but expected I'd get it by the end of the week.
Then, a couple hours later, the same guy called me again. He was reviewing my next request which is closer to the class E airport. He said that one was good to go, I could have 400', and he just wanted to know about the dates again. I asked him to make them the same as the other because I could probably do both in one day, but certainly both the same week.
Unfortunately, he didn't know anything about my other two requests. He said they must have been assigned to someone else. His advice on future requests regarding the dates was to go ahead and make the request 90 days out, but in the description of operation, explain that that I would take sooner dates if possible. Give yourself a window of opportunity to work (3,5,7 days) so you can plan for weather or other circumstances. Also, if you request the max altitude at 400', go ahead and note weather you must have the 400' or if you can operate at 200'. I got the sense 400' isn't necessarily an issue, but if there are more logistics involved, they need to make sure everyone can operate safely (i.e., communicate with ATC on 2-way radio, yield to manned aircraft, etc., etc).
I didn't ask why the approvals aren't being posted on the website, but at least we know that they are still granting them (well, assuming I actually get it when he said I would). Hope this helps everyone.