Need Help With High Traffic Interstate Area Waivers/Authorizations

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Hey Everyone! I am a newly-certified part 107 certified drone pilot and new here to the community.

I need some guidance on what is possible and what waivers & authorization I can ask for under Part 107.

I need to capture video and photos in 8 different locations in (about) a mile long stretch along I-75/I-85  (the Connector) in downtown Atlanta, GA for a large project to cross over the interstate corridor. I don't have a hard deadline, but it needs to be completed within 6 months if at all possible.

I spoke with a guy at FSDO in my region and I'm even more confused now about what waivers & authorizations I need to get and if this is even possible. I'm super discouraged at the moment. 

He said I can only get up to 400', but because I'm in a class B airspace, he isn't sure if I can get up to 400'. But, then he said if I had authorization, I might be able to get up to 1000' AGL. Ideally, I want to be at 2350' AGL if possible. 

To make it easier, I plan to just go straight up and down (as opposed to crossing the 200 lanes of interstate).

Would someone mind to have a look at my images/location and help me through my first stab at this? 

I have images saved in a shareable Google drive folder, but not sure if you need to see those to point me in the right direction. 

Thanks in advance for your help!!



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Hey @Nathan! Sorry for the delayed response here and was good chatting on the phone earlier this week. I took a closer look at your Google Drive photos and wanted to sum up some thoughts:

  • It looks like your flight area is in Class G uncontrolled airspace, so no additional airspace authorization would be required. You're under the 3,500 ft. MSL floor of Class B airspace. The FSDO person you spoke with unfortunately gave you some false information about that. But good news for you!
  • This is a dense flying environment. Since you're not allowed to operate over people or moving vehicles, you'll want to keep that in mind as you plan your take-off, flight, emergency, and landing zones. Seems like you're already starting to do that with these pins on the map. And because you plan to fly straight up and straight down, that'll make things easier as well.
  • The max altitude you're allowed to fly under Part 107 is 400 ft. AGL, unless you're within 400 ft. of a taller man-made structure, in which case you're allowed to fly up to 400 ft. over the topmost part of that structure. So if there's a building that's 1,110 ft. AGL, as long as you're within a 400 ft. radius of the building, you can fly up to 1,510 ft. above the topmost part of the building if you need to. Yes, you can technically apply for a waiver to be exempt from the max altitude rule, but not many of those have been granted by the FAA as of yet. So you might have to rethink certain aspects of your mission, knowing that the highest you may be able to fly in most areas is 350-400 ft. AGL (above ground level).

Hope this helps! Let us know how the shoot goes.

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Hey @Alan Perlman! Sorry for my delayed response. I thought email notifications were turned on but they were not.

I really appreciate you taking time to chat with me earlier and having a look at the photos to understand my questions in more detail.

Looks like it should be possible to get around 6 views (of the 8) that I was wanting because they are under 400 ft. AGL as long as I can stay away from people and moving cars.

For the views over 400 ft. AGL I will look into finding some options where I could be within a 400 ft. radius of a building and 400 ft. above the building.

Thanks again for your time! Your course and this forum have been crazy helpful thus far!


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