To Contact or Not To Contact An Uncontrolled Airport Operator?

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Yes, another newb here. I'm still waiting for my drone to arrive; so I've been doing my legal and piloting research. What a zoo of a transition for recreational flyers. I live on 22 acres with a local uncontrolled airport KFGU (VFR Only) about 2.5 miles from me.  The SkyVector sectional chart does show the airport just within KCHA's Class C airspace and I believe it is within the 1200' to 700' transition. I am located outside of that in Class G Airspace . With the repeal of Special Rule 336, the new law no longer lists the 5-mile rule at least not from my perusal of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. Based on my reading at the FAA site, the ATC is no longer to acknowledge requests/notifications anymore by phone.  It must be done through LAANC. My LAANC apps indicate I'm good to go, but they appear to be only concerned with controlled airports. They do at least let me know the airport is there but with no recommendation. My question is whether I should still contact the the KFGU Airport Manager even though there appears to be no requirement anymore to do so? Again, I am in Class G Airspace. If I'm incorrect here, please educate me. That's what I'm here for. Thanks!

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On 8/13/2019 at 6:32 PM, Eaglebeak said:

 My question is whether I should still contact the the KFGU Airport Manager even though there appears to be no requirement anymore to do so? Again, I am in Class G Airspace. If I'm incorrect here, please educate me. That's what I'm here for. Thanks!

A year ago I would have said absolutely. At least open a dialogue with the airport manager and see if you can work something out to ensure that you are communicating and operating safely. Recent experience with untowered airports in Class G airspace have seriously tempered my thoughts. I always file a NOTAM to ensure the word gets out of where I am operating and when. I have a great relationship with the local Class D airport and staff. I recently had to operate outside my norm in Class G twice and in both instances, experienced sub-professional behaviour from the both of the airport managers. In the future, I think I am going to be filing my NOTAMs as before via Center and that is going to be the only notification they receive.

So best advice; reach out and test the waters. It never hurts to try.

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On 8/16/2019 at 9:54 AM, Eaglebeak said:

Thanks R Martin for your reply. Are you speaking as a Part 107 UAS pilot or as a recreational UAS pilot? I'll be flying recreationally.

I am 107 but with the dismemberment of 336 and the tightening up of recreational flight regs, it would serve you well too.

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Well, I may still contact the airport operator just to see what he would find helpful, but I believe I found a very precise answer from Mark DeNicuolo, Deputy Vice President Program Management Organization FAA. He clearly indicates that it is no longer necessary to notify an airport operator of an airport in Class G Airspace. I'd start around the 8 minute mark if you want to hear the lead up to this specific remark, although the whole thing may prove beneficial for many such as myself:


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

I'd say contact.

I live near a small, municipal airport. Having spoken to them, they said if you phone and notify when you will fly and where, you have no problems. If you do not, and are spotted, the police will be called for endangering aircraft.

Is worth noting I live in the UK so the rules may be different here. 

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First off, I did not watch the video posted previously.   AirMap’s business model is to make money through user fees, whether that’s charging users for information, or vendors for integrating into their solution etc.. which means they have an agenda and often provide information in a way that is not factual.  There’s a lot of that sort of thing happening when it comes to the FAA which is why there’s so much confusion about the interpretation of the regulations. 

Also, I am not familiar with Chattanooga’s airspace, so if you say your in class G, you must be in class G.  For Part 107 there is no requirement to contact ATC at any airport.  They removed that requirement for a reason.  Most control towers, especially in class C are pretty busy managing the comings and goings to the runway and they don’t have time for ignorant drone operators.  

I use that language for a reason, because if you contact the airport manager at an uncontrolled airfield they are just as ignorant about the regulations concerning UAVs.  So  by removing the requirement to contact ATC by radio (which they never wanted UAV operators to do) or by phone it simplifies the process and removes a major source of miss understanding. 

 If your in class G and have a 107 fly like you own it.  Just follow the simple rules.  Every time we’ve been rolled up on by local police who’ve been called by “concerned” citezens, most of them knew the regulations and just asked to see our 107 license or we explained to them the rules thereby demonstrating our experience and they told us to have a nice day.  

If I owned 22 acres near an airport and was reported by a “concerned”  citezen, well let’s just put it this way, I’d get some signs that said something about how people who trespass will be shot.  

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