Hospital Helipad Not Granting "Approval" to Fly


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Hi All,

  Wanted to get the communities take on this. I have FAA approval for a flight near 3 hospitals. Max - per my approval - is 150ft AGL. I thought I'd reach out and give a courtesy call to the hospitals to let them know when and where I'd be flying. Two of the hospitals were as pleasant as could be. The third more or less said "no" at this time - but would get back to me - (they wanted a week lead time of a heads up so they could communicate and coordinate it and decide on approving or not). The hospital is about 1/3 to 1/2 mile from the drone launch site and where I will mostly be flying. I would be flying for a 3rd party client. Would you still do the flight without a thumbs up from the 3rd hospital (assuming you got the go ahead from your client)?

-Adam

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Let this be a lesson to all that continually say you should inform everyone in your flights immediate area, now what do you do?  

It’s actually quite easy:  It appears from your altitude restriction that you got a LAANC clearance or a clearance directly from the FAA.  If that’s the case, fly the mission.  The FAA  took all of the obstacles, airspace, and air traffic into consideration when issuing the clearance which is the reason for the alt restriction.  

This is why you DO NOT ask for permission to fly from those NOT authorized to grant it.  

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Hi @Adam G

I am going to echo what @Av8Chuck said. Hospital heliports are not controlled airspace, therefore you do not need permission from the hospital to fly there (you would need FAA authorization if the heliport happens to be within controlled airspace). Just to be clear, the FAA has sole jurisdiction over the National Airspace System and the overall operation of drones. The hospital has no legal authority to grant or deny your drone from flying in that region of airspace. Now they could ask that you not stand on their property and fly, which they have the right to do. 

The FAA authorized your operation, meaning they believed that your operation can be completed safely without a high risk of error based on numerous factors. As always, remain vigilant when flying and always yield to manned aircraft operations. 

I hope this helps!

 - Chase 

 

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Thanks for the comments. Yes, I know the laws - which is why I got my FAA clearance (it was a 0 AGL zone so I had to submit an airspace authorization request, not a LAANC). Was just curious as to if anyone would not fly. I think @Av8Chuck makes a good point about not asking permission. There is a difference between asking permission and letting them know you are going to be flying right next to a helicopter landing spot. Most hospitals I have worked with have appreciated the heads up and just ask for your phone number so they can call if there is an inbound helicopter - and I have been called and informed as such in the past. Anyways, was just throwing this out for discussion.  For the record, I flew and had no issues (and received a thumbs up from the hospital before the flight anyway.)

Cheers!

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1 hour ago, Adam G said:

flying right next to a helicopter landing spot.

Im a helicopter pilot and it’s not uncommon to land in spaces where there’s obstacles about 20 feet from the rotor.  I’m low and slow and if something unexpected like a lawnchair flies up it’s easy to pull in a bit of power to arrest the decent or just move off to the side if there’s room.  

My point is when helicopters come and go the pilot is on high alert, if a drone appears out of nowhere I’ll deal with it.  Can it be dangerous absolutely, is it dangerous,  not necessarily. It’s like when a squirrel runs out on the road, if you see and it’s safe to stop, slow down or move around it you do, if it’s not, you hope for the best and look back to see if it made it.  

Despite the total over reaction drones and manned aviation can live in harmony...

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