Luke

Night operations

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Hi everyone. I'm PART 107, and plan to work with police departments, Fire departments, search and rescue and other first responders departments. Under PART 107 rules and regulations, I'm not allowed to fly 30 minutes after sunset. I can get a waiver, but that would have to be in advance of my operation. Working with first responders, you don't know when you'll be called out. My question is: Can I get like a certification from the FAA to fly at night without a waiver ? Or am I misunderstanding the PART 107 rules about flying at night ? Interested in what anyone has to say. Thanks in advance.

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Hi Luke, the Daylight Operations waiver is a blanket waiver...meaning you don't have to request a specific date and time. Here's language on the waiver I received a few months ago:

This Certificate of Waiver is effective from June 18, 2018 to June 30, 2022 and is subject to cancellation at any time upon notice by the Administrator or an authorized representative.

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@Ed O'Grady, and @Alan Perlman. Thank you for the information. Most helpful and interesting. @Alan Perlman, From my understanding on what you posted: I can get a waiver for a period of time. Then it expires. I can also cancel it at anytime, if I need to. @Ed O'Grady, What you posted says all that really needs to be said, and is self explaining. Once I'm working for a department I can file out the forum on the FAA website (SGI). Send it to FAA's System Operations Support Center, and wait  for a response. After that I'm golden, Right ?

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19 hours ago, Luke said:

What you posted says all that really needs to be said, and is self explaining. Once I'm working for a department I can file out the forum on the FAA website (SGI). Send it to FAA's System Operations Support Center, and wait  for a response. After that I'm golden, Right ?

I would suggest that you could expect a definite maybe and not "I'm golden" if I were you.

The language states:

Through its SGI process, the FAA may expedite the issuance to qualifying UAS operations of: 1) addendums to pre-existing Certificates of Waiver or Authorization (COA); or 2) waivers and authorizations to Part 107 operators.

They also may not.  A pro would apply for the blanket daylight waiver that Alan mentioned and then if you have not received anything on it when a mission is shortly scheduled, then you could try the expedited method they mention.  Not that the language above also mentions expediting and application that has already been submitted.

Something to keep in mind. The FAA is not going to grant you Authorization "just because" you are working with an agency.  They won't even automatically grant authorization to the agency itself.

I don't mean to discourage you from working through the system.  Just don't want you to get your hopes up unreasonably is all.

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@Dave Pitman is absolutely correct.  However, I recently had a conversation with an inspector in FSDO ATL regarding hurricane season and he made it sound as if the approval process would be quick and positive.  But Dave's point about a particular event is a valid point.  That definitely is the way this inspector spoke. 

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Luke,

My FAA waiver to daylight operations is good for 4 years, nationwide.  Trying to get a rapid response waiver is not what you want to try and do every time you need to fly at night.  Get a blanket night waiver.  You will need an observer for all night operations.  That is pretty much a given for all waivers to daylight operations and there are some training requirements for them as well.  Good luck.

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