Feb 23, 2017
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Kansas City
Last month, I filled out a COA to fly in Class D airspace. I was very specific with where my flight activity would be, and I made sure to explain my safety mitigation plan. I also went into detail about how I will follow the Performance Based Standards. Yesterday a representative from the FAA called me to clarify a few things about my application before he could approve it. These are my original requests when I described the launch area and proposed operations in my COA application:

- Specific launch area will be 2 miles south of towered airport in Class D airspace
- All operations will be under 200 ft AGL
- Radius will be no more than 400 ft from launch site
- Asking for a COA valid for 1 year.

The FAA representative told me that he couldn't approve it unless I agreed to reduce my ceiling to 100 ft AGL, and he could only approve it for 6 months. But he was able to give me a .5 mile radius, which is more than I asked for. I told him that wasn't a problem, and this morning he emailed me an approved COA with the limitations I agreed to.

He also told me on the phone and in writing that I DO NOT have to notify the airport traffic control tower before my flights. I keep reading conflicting opinions on that issue, so I wanted to clarify that point. I do have a radio to monitor traffic communication in case there is a temporary flight restriction that comes up, but I won't use that to communicate with the tower (I think you need a separate permit for that anyways).

Hopefully by the time 6 months is up, the FAA will release the app they are working on to make this process go by faster. But until then, it's still possible to get an approved COA in Class D airspace.
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