Restriction flying close to electrical high power lines?


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Hi,

I searched this site for this topic, flying close to high power transmission lines.  I swear I read a line that UAVs can't fly within 2,000 feet of high power electrical transmission lines.  We have two substations in my city with their paths in the north and west sides of town.  Did I mis-read that info?  I haven't been able to find any rules/regulations about this on faa.gov.

Thanks ahead of time,

Robert

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That's good advice, however, that is the point of rule107, minicipalities don't have the authority to regulate airspace. We fly power substations, transmission lines and power poles for several customers and I never check with local authorities.

im not required to and who do you check with?  To be honest, local authorities have no idea.

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You are correct regarding airspace, which is regulated by the FAA.  There may be future challenges to that, however, but for the moment local authorities can regulate the takeoff and landing areas for sUAV's.  In spite of Part 107, my county has an ordinance that says, for example, that I am not permitted to fly over county parks.  While that is in conflict with FAA, as the Chief of Police said to me personally, "Are the FEDS going to be with you in court if I give you a summons"? I have found loopholes in poorly constructed ordinances that would be helpful if I were ever in a legal situation but again, I would do a bit of research regarding local ordinances.  Where I live it's easy to do but where I used to live it would be a nightmare.  So I would repeat that "you would be well advised to check your state, county, city, and township ordinances thoroughly for local restrictions that may be in place."  At least, you will know what to expect if you are challenged by local law enforcement, who most likely are not aware of Part 107 and don't care, and are more likely to be familiar with local ordinances, regardless of their conflict with FAA regulations.

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4 hours ago, Colorlexic said:

Maybe you were thinking about this...... The FAA advises drone pilots to give a buffer of 2,000ft around antennae as they have hard to see guy wires that can extend 1,500ft. ?

That doesn't look like what I may have read.  This restriction would have been an issue for me!

Everyone, thanks!

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12 hours ago, Ed O'Grady said:

You are correct regarding airspace, which is regulated by the FAA.  There may be future challenges to that, however, but for the moment local authorities can regulate the takeoff and landing areas for sUAV's.  In spite of Part 107, my county has an ordinance that says, for example, that I am not permitted to fly over county parks.  While that is in conflict with FAA, as the Chief of Police said to me personally, "Are the FEDS going to be with you in court if I give you a summons"? I have found loopholes in poorly constructed ordinances that would be helpful if I were ever in a legal situation but again, I would do a bit of research regarding local ordinances.  Where I live it's easy to do but where I used to live it would be a nightmare.  So I would repeat that "you would be well advised to check your state, county, city, and township ordinances thoroughly for local restrictions that may be in place."  At least, you will know what to expect if you are challenged by local law enforcement, who most likely are not aware of Part 107 and don't care, and are more likely to be familiar with local ordinances, regardless of their conflict with FAA regulations.

I work for the city, and there are no ordinances restricting drones.  It appears that I'm now the in-house expert!

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Whenever I'm in doubt about a ordinance like this, I look up the police station having jurisdiction over the specific geography in question, call and tell them that I have been asked to fly a drone commercially in a certain area of their jurisdiction, and ask if there are any restrictions. If you get the answer that there are no restrictions, be sure to note the name and badge number of the officer with whom you spoke. That way, if the cops approach you while you are flying, you can reference the conversation you had with the officer at the station.  

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In Texas under House Bill 1481(Effective September 1, 2015), UAVs may not be operated at an altitude of 400 feet or lower over the following critical infrastructure facilities— if the facilities are enclosed by a fence or physical barrier, or are clearly marked by signs indicating that entry is forbidden.5 Violations of this law can result in a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and/or a jail term of up to 180 days. Repeat violations can result in Class A misdemeanors, which can carry a fine of up to $4,000 and/or a year in jail. UAVs may not be operated at the designated heights over the following facilities:  •  Petroleum or aluminum refineries  •  Electrical power generating facilities, substations, switching stations, or electrical control centers  •  Chemical, polymer, or rubber manufacturing facilities  •  Water intake structures, water treatment facilities, wastewater treatment plants, or pump stations  •  Natural gas compressor stations  •  Telecommunications central switching offices  •  Liquid natural gas terminals or storage facilities  •  Ports, railroad switching yards, trucking terminals, or other freight transportation facilities  •  Gas processing plants, including a plant used in the processing, treatment, or fractionation of natural gas  •  Transmission facilities used by a federally licensed radio or television station •   Steelmaking facilities that use an electric arc furnace to make steel  •  Dams that are classified as a high hazard by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality  •  Any portion of an aboveground oil, gas, or chemical pipeline enclosed by a fence or other physical barrier obviously designed to exclude intruders.

These restrictions do not apply to the following under certain circumstances. For instance, exemptions apply to government entities operating UAVs, such as law enforcement and critical infrastructure facility owners and operators. Also exempt are UAV aircraft owners operating for commercial purposes if they have prior written consent.

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On 6/10/2017 at 5:36 PM, Jim Brammer said:

Whenever I'm in doubt about a ordinance like this, I look up the police station having jurisdiction over the specific geography in question, call and tell them that I have been asked to fly a drone commercially in a certain area of their jurisdiction, and ask if there are any restrictions. If you get the answer that there are no restrictions, be sure to note the name and badge number of the officer with whom you spoke. That way, if the cops approach you while you are flying, you can reference the conversation you had with the officer at the station.  

Email or <gasp> a typed letter work even better. A written response is worth its weight in gold if problems should arise.

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3 hours ago, mrarmyaustin said:

In Texas under House Bill 1481(Effective September 1, 2015), UAVs may not be operated at an altitude of 400 feet or lower over the following critical infrastructure facilities— if the facilities are enclosed by a fence or physical barrier, or are clearly marked by signs indicating that entry is forbidden.5 Violations of this law can result in a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and/or a jail term of up to 180 days. Repeat violations can result in Class A misdemeanors, which can carry a fine of up to $4,000 and/or a year in jail. UAVs may not be operated at the designated heights over the following facilities:  •  Petroleum or aluminum refineries  •  Electrical power generating facilities, substations, switching stations, or electrical control centers  •  Chemical, polymer, or rubber manufacturing facilities  •  Water intake structures, water treatment facilities, wastewater treatment plants, or pump stations  •  Natural gas compressor stations  •  Telecommunications central switching offices  •  Liquid natural gas terminals or storage facilities  •  Ports, railroad switching yards, trucking terminals, or other freight transportation facilities  •  Gas processing plants, including a plant used in the processing, treatment, or fractionation of natural gas  •  Transmission facilities used by a federally licensed radio or television station •   Steelmaking facilities that use an electric arc furnace to make steel  •  Dams that are classified as a high hazard by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality  •  Any portion of an aboveground oil, gas, or chemical pipeline enclosed by a fence or other physical barrier obviously designed to exclude intruders.

These restrictions do not apply to the following under certain circumstances. For instance, exemptions apply to government entities operating UAVs, such as law enforcement and critical infrastructure facility owners and operators. Also exempt are UAV aircraft owners operating for commercial purposes if they have prior written consent.

The former Soviet Union had laws like this too, doesn't make them enforceable.

Airspace is regulated by the federal gov't.  When states want to restrict access to airspace they do so with the cooperation of the FAA to issue TFR's, MOA's, restricted airspace etc..  if it doesn't appear on a sectional or in the FAR/AIM then it's not valid.  

I'm not saying that States don't have the right to regulate airspace, but they don't have the authority and there's a process they have to go through to get it. If they do it will appear in sectionals that inform operators and pilots of the restrictions.  

We did a cell tower inspection next to a prison that required us to fly directly over the perimeter of the prison from 35' to 300'.  We didn't ask for permission. Just as we were setting up a guard came and asked us what we were doing and hung around and watched for a bit.  

Im not suggesting that anyone become the poster child for drone rights, but you don't have to.  If you are certified for commercial operation then just follow rule107.  I don't believe anywhere in rule107 does it say that you have to ask local municipalities for permission to do your job.  

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