107 Waiver and Airport Authorization

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I have found a confusing bit of the part 107 rules (imagine that...)
The part 107 rules (107.41) state that commercial operations are allowed in Class B, C, D. and E airspace with the required ATC permission.

I had a mission planned within an Air Reserve Base's class D airspace, and when i called to ask for permission, they told me there was a moratorium on all 107 operations within Air Force airspace. Ok, Understood. Today the airport ,manager got back to me and sent me here to fill out Airspace Authorization request.
Request a Waiver/Airspace Authorization – Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS)

This form clearly states that any commercial operation within Class, B, C, D, or Surface E requires a waiver/airspace authorization.

So do I just need to call the tower, or do I need to fill out this form that it might take 90 days to get a response on?
90 days is too long, my clients won't wait that long.
 
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Sounds to me like you answered your own question.

You called the tower and the manager sent you to a site to fill out a form to grant you access.

The form has dates of flight on it maybe that will expidite the reply from them.

I would fill the form out and hope for the best, if you dont get it back. Then call the airport again a few days prior and explain the situation and they should assist you.

One the to note about the USAF is anything can be waivered.

Sent from my SM-N910V using PhantomPilots mobile app
 

N42742

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It sounds like he's showing you the proper route to apply for an authorization (not calling the tower), but you may be forewarned that you application may be denied.
 
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In the past I just called the tower, or the airport manager. They were always helpful, happy to hear from me, and I got an immediate response. Having to go through the FAA and having to wait for potentially 90 days will remove this service line from my business. If clients are in controlled airspace, i will just have to tell them no. A 90 day response time is ludicrous.

Then some non-compliant UAV cowboy will step right up and do the work without regards to the regulations and potentially endanger lives. Through regulatory overreach, the FAA will be promoting the thing they are trying to prevent (irresponsible commercial operations). Talk about a SNAFU
 
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After Part 107 went into effect, the only route to get controlled airspace authorization is through the web page. 90 days is pessimistic, my first one took about 45 (I know still too long for rapid response to customers. What I did was to look at the airspace that I had to deal with (Surface E at my hometown airport) and picked a point with in that airspace that was centered on the area where I expected to get work. Then asked for an operating radius of 2.5 nm, that covered almost the entire quadrant of town that was within the airspace. Then asked for a period of time (waivers are getting 4 years) to allow interminent operations. The FAA gave m pretty much what I asked for. I have a second request in that is moving through the systemwide the center point shifted so the radius would cover anything else actually got a call from the FAA guy working it and it made sense to him. That doesn't help the OP if the AF is closing their airspace and I doubt the FAA would go against them.
 
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I have submitted two cases to the FAA uAS webpage. They are very slow at responding. I've been waiting more than 1 month, and no news from them.
 
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My Class D authorization was submitted on Oct 30 and I exchanged emails on Nov 21 with the Specialist in D.C. assigned to the request. It was in his "in basket" about a week before hearing from him.

Via the emails it came out that if I wanted more than 200' ALG and 0.1 NM radius it would then take more time to interact / co-ordinate with ATC at the airport. After accepting the restrictions I got the official authorization a day later. I was 0.2NM from the edge of the Class D.

My takeaway is the more sensitive a place is, the longer it'll take.
 
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As an update about Air Force airspace, they have deferred to the FAA website for approvals. It is open, but it is a tiny tiny little door...

I appreciate the suggestion for a "blanket" clearance request, but my work can come from all over the United States, and is generally the result of an "event" of some sort that requires rapid deployment.

This new method of acquiring clearance cuts this particular service line in half for me. What bothers me the most is that it is not dictated in the part 107 rule, they are making it up as they go along. The rule states that you must gain ATC clearance, and oh by the way, you can only get it from the FAA. The rule should state that you need FAA clearance, not ATC clearance. They are not the same thing.
 
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The most irritating thing about the rules is that if I just want to fly under part 101 rules, all I need to do is notify the tower still, which at the moment is a hell of a lot faster than submitting an authorization request (not to mention a waiver).

I'm confident this will all be worked out at some point, but until then it's going to be frustrating for everyone.
 

N42742

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The most irritating thing about the rules is that if I just want to fly under part 101 rules, all I need to do is notify the tower still, which at the moment is a hell of a lot faster than submitting an authorization request (not to mention a waiver).
Absolutely. If you aren't going to be flying under 107, take the easy route.
 

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