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  I have a question regarding flying over urban areas.  I have been asked multiple times about being able to fly residential street areas.  The uses for this are obvious and so are the potential abuses.

 

Small cities say 700 people to 12,000 people have asked if I can fly residential areas for street reconstruction or sidewalk replacement etc.  FAA doesn’t allow flying over moving vehicles or flying over people (unless they are part of the drone operation).

 

I think urban mapping (specifically residential) could be accomplished if the area of interest had the streets temporarily closed and if all residents were notified of the flight (day and time).  If residents are notified does that mean they are “part of the operation”? 

 

Any thoughts or discussion?  Any success stories on this topic? 

Thanks!

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I'll throw my 2 cents in here.  First of all, FAA does not explicitly prohibit flying over moving vehicles.  As best as I can tell, it is implied in Part 107 but not so stated.  So what does that mean? I don't know.

As far as flying over people, you could apply for a waiver but I think it would be far easier if you utilized a VO who stayed ahead of the a/c and basically just kept people out of the flight path. Perhaps one block at a time.

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8 minutes ago, Ed O'Grady said:

I'll throw my 2 cents in here.  First of all, FAA does not explicitly prohibit flying over moving vehicles.  As best as I can tell, it is implied in Part 107 but not so stated.  So what does that mean? I don't know.

As far as flying over people, you could apply for a waiver but I think it would be far easier if you utilized a VO who stayed ahead of the a/c and basically just kept people out of the flight path. Perhaps one block at a time.

You are right in that the FAA does not specifically prohibit flying over moving vehicles, but, they clearly state that you are only allowed to operate over people under cover or in a stationary vehicle. I was told by my local FSDO that waivers for flight over people are not being reviewed at this time, and there was no definite time frame for them to begin.

I can only speak for my municipality, but closing a street is not a big deal but you do have to schedule it in advance through the city transportation director so that EMS and the PD get advanced warning of closures in order to do route planning. The best course of action IMO, is to hire an aviation attorney to negotiate a middle ground that complies with the regs but also allows you to do what you need to do if this is going to be a common occurrence. They can at least give you guidance on what constitutes a participant and a non-participant. Better to be right by the law than another example.

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