I'm going to need your wisdom on the airspace issue.


Kirk
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I live and want to operate my drone photography business in a very congested airspace. Refer to photo. There are 4 airports with airspace restrictions ( class D, class E)  that cover all the cities in my area. Now here is the question for those of you that have approved airspace waivers. Due to multiple cities under each of the individual airports. I would like to make 1 request for each airport airspace. Saying something like "the class D and E airspace surrounding the Torrance airport ". Can I get away with general language like that or do I have to give a very specific location within that airspace? If I get away with general location I would only have to write 4, 1 for each airport. If specific location required I will have to write many. What are your thoughts? I should also say that one realtor told me that all the photographers in this area have drones. I'll put money on not one of them having a COA!!!

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Instead of giving you a BS answer why don't you go to the source and ask the FAA?

15000 Aviation Boulevard, Suite 2000 
Lawndale, California 90261 

Phone: (310) 725-6600 Fax: (310) 725-6670

That is the contact info for your local FSDO and they will tell you how they want you to do it. Provided that you give them what they want, you should be able to conduct your business with minimal drag. This solution will most likely save you a lot of time, paperwork, and grief.

As a side note, I have multiple CoAs for the same city/same airport. At least the latest round I just got back has been approved for one year vs six months.

Edited by R Martin
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@R Martin Thats good advice. I've gotten my daylight operations Wavier. Should have payed more attention to the airspace where my target customers are sooner. Its just impossible to do business in the southern California beach areas without getting at least 4 airspace waivers for major airports. I wrote and submitted them to the FAA tonight, now the waiting game. So this is the next big thing, I looked at every FAA 107.41 airspace waivers granted (there are not that many). There is no way anyone in my area has an airspace wavier other than 3 I saw my police department wrote. So how do you go about telling all the realtors in my area and there are hundreds that no one is flying legally. You don't want to be that guy, but then again it is a fact. Are the relators on the hook for hiring a Drone company that does not have the proper airspace waivers? Or is it that the realtor can just claim ignorance and direct the FAA the drone guys way when questions get asked?

Edited by Kirk
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7 hours ago, Kirk said:

@R Martin Thats good advice. I've gotten my daylight operations Wavier. Should have payed more attention to the airspace where my target customers are sooner. Its just impossible to do business in the southern California beach areas without getting at least 4 airspace waivers for major airports. I wrote and submitted them to the FAA tonight, now the waiting game. So this is the next big thing, I looked at every FAA 107.41 airspace waivers granted (there are not that many). There is no way anyone in my area has an airspace wavier other than 3 I saw my police department wrote. So how do you go about telling all the realtors in my area and there are hundreds that no one is flying legally. You don't want to be that guy, but then again it is a fact. Are the relators on the hook for hiring a Drone company that does not have the proper airspace waivers? Or is it that the realtor can just claim ignorance and direct the FAA the drone guys way when questions get asked?

Instead of filing for a waiver which can take upwards of 6-9 months, file for authorization instead which "can" take up to 3 months but in reality takes less than that (I am still getting around a 30 day turnaround on my paperwork). The main difference between the two is this: authorization is "generally" only granted 6 months at a time and then you have to refile whereas a waiver can be for up to ?2? years. The hassle of applying for the waiver is offset by a much faster turnaround and as you establish credibility with you local FSDO team, they may be inclined to extend the amount of time they give you on authorizations (or they simply get tired of renewing a half dozen pieces of paperwork every six months from you). 

As an Unmanned Pilot you have more than enough to worry about making sure that you are in compliance with the rules and regulation that go with your sUAS license. When you approach realtors be sure and provide them proof that you are legally operating and that should be enough. The rest can suffer the consequences when they occur...just my two cents.

Edited by R Martin
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@R Martin also good advise. My last waiver took I think 3 months. Although I would like these approvals yesterday I'm going the waiver route for two reasons. 1. I'm in this for the long haul and have precious little time on a day to day basis and constantly worrying about when I need to send in another authorization request is not something that thrills me. 2. I've included in my waiver requests as reference previously granted waiver numbers for my exact request thinking this may speed things up. How can the say no when they have already approved others just like mine. Well they are the FAA and anything is possible.lol.

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2 hours ago, Kirk said:

@R Martin also good advise. My last waiver took I think 3 months. Although I would like these approvals yesterday I'm going the waiver route for two reasons. 1. I'm in this for the long haul and have precious little time on a day to day basis and constantly worrying about when I need to send in another authorization request is not something that thrills me. 2. I've included in my waiver requests as reference previously granted waiver numbers for my exact request thinking this may speed things up. How can the say no when they have already approved others just like mine. Well they are the FAA and anything is possible.lol.

My latest round took a few days longer but came back with a one year period instead of the normal six months (authorizations, not waivers). I think I've been working with them long enough now that they know I know what I am doing and they give me a little latitude. I know that they have a lot on their plate so I just try and make it easy for them to say yes.

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He was referring to Torrance Airport (which is class D airspace).  My DJI GO4 app insists I am in class B airspace (even though I am certainly in class D).  I have tried taking to DJI regarding their geofencing errors but they are of little help.  Kirk, I would love to talk to you as I am currently doing real estate in the same areas.  I live right off Carson and Western in Torrance.  You can text or call me anytime (310) 946-6186 or reach me at ryan@skyflycinematics.com

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20 hours ago, Ryan Wesley Deremo said:

He was referring to Torrance Airport (which is class D airspace).  My DJI GO4 app insists I am in class B airspace (even though I am certainly in class D).  I have tried taking to DJI regarding their geofencing errors but they are of little help.  Kirk, I would love to talk to you as I am currently doing real estate in the same areas.  I live right off Carson and Western in Torrance.  You can text or call me anytime (310) 946-6186 or reach me at ryan@skyflycinematics.com

Are you using DJI GO4 exclusively or do you use another app to plan you flights? If you are using another app, you should only be running that app solo; not with DJI GO4 in the background. That may help resolve the problem?

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On 6/21/2017 at 9:35 PM, Kirk said:

@R Martin Thats good advice. I've gotten my daylight operations Wavier. Should have payed more attention to the airspace where my target customers are sooner. Its just impossible to do business in the southern California beach areas without getting at least 4 airspace waivers for major airports. I wrote and submitted them to the FAA tonight, now the waiting game. So this is the next big thing, I looked at every FAA 107.41 airspace waivers granted (there are not that many). There is no way anyone in my area has an airspace wavier other than 3 I saw my police department wrote. So how do you go about telling all the realtors in my area and there are hundreds that no one is flying legally. You don't want to be that guy, but then again it is a fact. Are the relators on the hook for hiring a Drone company that does not have the proper airspace waivers? Or is it that the realtor can just claim ignorance and direct the FAA the drone guys way when questions get asked?

While I hope the best for your waivers, I am doubtful they will get approved. I've had lots of success obtaining airspace authorizations in socal, waivers were denied. The closer you get to the airport, the less likely the airspace authorization will get approved.

The realtors are not on the hook, pilot in command takes ultimate responsibility when arming the aircraft and departing the ground. I would avoid telling realtors that others are flying illegally in the area, never know if it was a family member or themselves that took their last round of photos. I would highlight that you abide by FAA part 107 rules & regs and take safety very seriously.

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On 6/24/2017 at 1:31 PM, Ryan Wesley Deremo said:

He was referring to Torrance Airport (which is class D airspace).  My DJI GO4 app insists I am in class B airspace (even though I am certainly in class D).  I have tried taking to DJI regarding their geofencing errors but they are of little help.  Kirk, I would love to talk to you as I am currently doing real estate in the same areas.  I live right off Carson and Western in Torrance.  You can text or call me anytime (310) 946-6186 or reach me at ryan@skyflycinematics.com

I have an airspace authorization to fly in class D airspace and did so a few weeks ago near KEMT. When I brought up the DJI GO app, it warned me I was in a class D airspace. Asked me to check mark 2 boxes, then let me launch. At a different jobsite a week later, I was definitely NOT in class D (nearby, yes) but after letting it warm up a bit, it prompted me for the same check marks. Defnitely not the best geo fencing, but at least it let me fly.

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14 hours ago, Steve Bennett said:

While I hope the best for your waivers, I am doubtful they will get approved. I've had lots of success obtaining airspace authorizations in socal, waivers were denied. The closer you get to the airport, the less likely the airspace authorization will get approved.

The realtors are not on the hook, pilot in command takes ultimate responsibility when arming the aircraft and departing the ground. I would avoid telling realtors that others are flying illegally in the area, never know if it was a family member or themselves that took their last round of photos. I would highlight that you abide by FAA part 107 rules & regs and take safety very seriously.

Agreed. The return does not measure up to the hassle required to obtain a waiver. And the potential turn around time is just not worth an extra year. Pushing paper is part of piloting. 

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@Steve Bennett as you can see by the photo of the controlled airspace in my target area getting waivers are essential to operating serously in this area. As to your statement that your doughtful I'll be granted waivers. I've had dealings with the FAA for 35 years, you need to do your research. In the area where I'm applying for airspace waivers the FAA has already issued waivers. How do I know this. Go to the FAA granted waivers, there are about one hundred 107.41's granted to date. I found 2 granted for my airspace needs in my area. Followed their example and applied. Although anything is possible with the FAA they would be hard pressed to deny me when they have previously granted a identical request. PS always add the previously approved waiver numbers in your request. That way the FAA has a lot harder time saying no.

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