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Yes Virginia, it's finally happening!  And no, it's not rigged!  Here's my story from today, Friday 10/28.

This is Florida v Georgia weekend in SE Georgia and it was my duty to head to Winn Dixie right near KSSI to load up on critical weekend items.   While in Winn Dixie (that's where all my important calls are received it seems) I got a call from area code 281 and I thought it was probably a nonsense call - I get lots of them.  Turns out it was FAA and he was a former controller now doing part 107 waivers.  He was working from home on this one.  We must have been on the phone for 20 minutes or so (in the salad oil aisle) and he was definitely working with me trying to get me the best solution for my airspace authorization request.  First of all, he explained and apologized for the unclear instructions on the website.  Airspace authorizations are intended to be issued for  a short term operation perhaps for 1 or 2 operations, not long term.    I was looking for a waiver here to fly in Class E Sfc airspace for an extended period and that really requires a waiver, he said..  So here's what I have gathered from everything. The authorizations will be granted based on the lowest controlled airspace grid.  In my case, the grids over the runway at SSI obviously are set to Zero.  So that means that within 3 miles of the airport, he can only issue a Zero.  But he then went on to describe my area as he sees it and suggested that he move my "spot" northward and after going back and forth, he called me back and is granting me 100' agl from 3nm away from the airport up to 5 nm.  After that , the airspace is Class E with 700 ft floor so I can fly all I want.  Now this doesn't really help me all that much, but it's a start.  He also talked about the smartphone authorization down the road.  We both agreed to not hold our breath!

He explained that I can request a waiver and the fact that he's granting this one does not hurt me as far as getting another.  He called back and said that he will email to me on Monday and it will be effective next week.  (I actually got it later today and it is effective tomorrow). I was very impressed with his interest in MY needs and he worked hard to try to help me.  For now I will accept this and move from here.  

I think the lesson here is that FAA is really trying to work for us and we need to accept that and be appreciative of that commitment to the needs of the licensed sUAS community.  It's not perfect, we know it and so do they, but we will move forward from here.  Fly Safe.

Ed

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That's the reason I posted that info.  We all have to take a deep breath and give FAA some time to get this worked out.  Government years, like dog years, don't always coincide with real world years.  FAA has put this whole thing together quite quickly and there are bumps but they will get them ironed out I believe.

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