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FAA Will Release Maps to Speed up Drone Authorization Applications

DroneDriver

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WildDoktor

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Thanks for the head's up, DroneDriver!

I've been working with our city Airport Manager and he mentioned this to me a couple months ago. He forwarded me the current map that our airport made (I attached it). The process is: go to Request a Waiver/Airspace Authorization – Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS), fill out the terrible form, check the "107.41 Operation in certain airspace" checkbox under "Regulation subject to airspace authorization", enter your take-off coordinates, etc., and submit. Then (supposedly) as long as you fly at or below the altitude(s) depicted on the map (pdf), you're good to go.

I've been doing this and have not ever gotten a response from the FAA or the airport, so for now I am assuming I'm ok.

Interestingly, this map apparently overrides the FAA guidelines for altitude. So if the AGL on the map for the area I'm in is, say, 200', and there's a 400' tower in that area, the FAA says I'm authorized up to 800' (if I'm within 400' of that structure) without additional phone calls / waivers / etc. But this map and the FAA say I'm *not* authorized for anything over 200'. If I want to inspect that tower, I'll have to fill out the form AND call ATC and let them know I'll be above 200' in that area...and they have to approve me. They have the right to refuse to approve me, too. (Unless I'm a hobbiest, in which case they can only "not approve", but can't prevent my flight. I think.)

What a mess...
 

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DroneDriver

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Thanks for the head's up, DroneDriver!

I've been working with our city Airport Manager and he mentioned this to me a couple months ago. He forwarded me the current map that our airport made (I attached it). The process is: go to Request a Waiver/Airspace Authorization – Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS), fill out the terrible form, check the "107.41 Operation in certain airspace" checkbox under "Regulation subject to airspace authorization", enter your take-off coordinates, etc., and submit. Then (supposedly) as long as you fly at or below the altitude(s) depicted on the map (pdf), you're good to go.

I've been doing this and have not ever gotten a response from the FAA or the airport, so for now I am assuming I'm ok.

Interestingly, this map apparently overrides the FAA guidelines for altitude. So if the AGL on the map for the area I'm in is, say, 200', and there's a 400' tower in that area, the FAA says I'm authorized up to 800' (if I'm within 400' of that structure) without additional phone calls / waivers / etc. But this map and the FAA say I'm *not* authorized for anything over 200'. If I want to inspect that tower, I'll have to fill out the form AND call ATC and let them know I'll be above 200' in that area...and they have to approve me. They have the right to refuse to approve me, too. (Unless I'm a hobbiest, in which case they can only "not approve", but can't prevent my flight. I think.)

What a mess...

Bureaucratic red tape, got a love it!

I see you're up there in RDD country. Long ago. I used to fly forest service contracts out Red Bluff right down the road from you with observation Aircraft. A lot of low altitude flying. Gets hot in the summer. I still have a good friend that lives up there flying for the FedEx feeder. Have taken your XSP over to Shasta Lake or better yet around the power lines out off the water at Wiskeytown lake? Awesome optics I'm sure!
 

WildDoktor

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Wow; small world! Shoot me the name of some of your Forest Service contacts and I'll see if they'd like to hire a UAV jockey to modernize those flights! :)

I haven't been out over Shasta Lake yet, and Wiskeytown Lake is unfortunately a no-drone-zone.:mad: I'm hoping to get up to Burney falls in about a month and try my hand at filming waterfalls...if there's any water by that time! :D
 
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DroneDriver

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Wow; small world! Shoot me the name of some of your Forest Service contacts and I'll see if they'd like to hire a UAV jockey to modernize those flights! :)

I haven't been out over Shasta Lake yet, and Wiskeytown Lake is unfortunately a no-drone-zone.:mad: I'm hoping to get up to Burney falls in about a month and try my hand at filming waterfalls...if there's any water by that time! :D

Yeah Burney Falls would be great to do a shoot there also Britton lake. It is time for someone like yourself to replace this public video to 4K.
Assuming they haven't created bureaucracy paperwork to fly there? Being a Cali native I do miss the scenery just not the bureaucratic politics.
 

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