Odds of getting FAA Waiver in Class B airspace


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Greetings all,

I have a client who has requested some aerial photos in Class B airspace. Looking at Kittyhawk, it is one "square" away from airport property with a flight ceiling of 0 feet.  Additionally, it is in the direct path of a runway approximately 1 mile away.

Obviously I'll need to look into applying for a waiver, but I'm not confident it will go through since it is so close to this airport and I'll need to do bi-weekly flights for several months.  My client doesn't want to spend time or money in the attempt to get a waiver if it's not likely it will be approved. I wanted to see if anyone here has had any success with securing a waiver this close to a major airport.  Thoughts? Thanks!

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It’s been several months since we’ve applied for this type of waiver but when we did it was reasonably easy to get.  The trouble is that not all class B airports are required to participate in the LAANC program which means that those that do deal with this issue differently.  It’s really up to the controllers at each location.  

The key to a successful application is being very specific about what your trying to accomplish and as exact about your flight path as possible. They want to know that you know what your doing so include how you’ll know exactly how high your flying, (hint) — that readout in the GoApp is not an altimeter and can be off considerably because of density altitude, how are you going to calibrate it to the altimeter reading in the ATIS?  Do you have more than a failsafe but also a backup if you lose control signal?  They don’t want an out of control drone interfering with their traffic. 

They want to know that you understand ATIS, DA, COMMs, clearances, and how it effects your mission and their traffic. Don’t think of the “0” as an altitude, think of it a “zero tolerance.”  If you can convince them that you know what your doing and you’ve implemented procedures to mitigate as many of their concerns as possible then the lickelyhood for a waiver is quite good. 

If your directly on the approach, get an IFR approach plate and make sure your maximum height is at least 500’ below the approach. Might not be possible but if it is make sure to include that in your request.  Also keep your flight times to an absolute minimum.  

Hope this helps.


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We needed to fly in Zero Laanc zone. We contacted the local ATC a month ahead of time, provided them a mission plan, met with them before the flight face to face to go over the flight and contingencies.

We were granted a flight window with very specific times.  We were flying a dji P4P and we're instructed to called ATC before and after the flight. 

If you really need a flight in zero Laanc area for a legitimate purpose and your 107 Certified, I believe the local atc will work with you.  Just don't show up that morning asking for permission.



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If you are using a DJI drone, don't forget to check their geofence areas ahead of time and request an unlock to fly.  I requested several flight windows at a time.  The first time I had to do it, it wasn't exactly a intuitive process.  It is easier to apply for the mission on a laptop, then download the unlock keys on your mobile device and they must be sent to the drone as well.  Google You Tube for a few videos on the DJI unlock process and keep in mind your screenshots may not look exactly like the ones in the video.

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