NFZ Unlocking Advice

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So, I just started a video project that will (hopefully) include documenting some construction over the next 18 months using my P4P. I would only need 100' of max altitude to do this. The site is just at the end/edge of an airport authorization zone. The controller gives me the standard message allowing self or custom unlocking methods but self unlocking errors out. When I check it out on Airmap it gives the attached information.

My two questions are 1. Is "Automated Authorization" really coming soon (as is says on Airmap)? and 2. If I have to contact the FAA does anyone have a proven method for this process? I am Part 107 licensed and will do what I need to for permission but one potential issue is the fact that I'll need to fly here once a month for the next year and a half so the process needs to be duplicatable and as painless as possible.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

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So, I just started a video project that will (hopefully) include documenting some construction over the next 18 months using my P4P. I would only need 100' of max altitude to do this. The site is just at the end/edge of an airport authorization zone. The controller gives me the standard message allowing self or custom unlocking methods but self unlocking errors out. When I check it out on Airmap it gives the attached information.

My two questions are 1. Is "Automated Authorization" really coming soon (as is says on Airmap)? and 2. If I have to contact the FAA does anyone have a proven method for this process? I am Part 107 licensed and will do what I need to for permission but one potential issue is the fact that I'll need to fly here once a month for the next year and a half so the process needs to be duplicatable and as painless as possible.

Thanks in advance for any
 
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Looks to me like you are in a zone where you can legally fly. I have found Airmap LAANC approvals to be somewhat unpredictable. Sometimes it works perfectly and the next time even in the same place it doesn't work at all. There are other apps that can get you the FAA authorization.. (Kittyhawk and skyward.io are a couple I have successfully used.) Once you get that part figured out and get LAANC approvals to work then you have to get DJI to work. On your DJI map in the Go4 App check to see the color of the zone you want to fly in. If any part of it is RED you will have to go through the DJI formal approval process through Flysafe on the DJI website. You will have to have a pdf of the LAANC approval to get DJI approval.

If you are in a self authorization zone when you are booted up and try to start the props there should be a message box pop up in the app stating you are in a restricted zone and asking if you want self approval. When you say yes you get another box asking for your cell phone number. Make sure the country is the USA and note that the "fill-in blank" is way to the right of the "+1" AND NOT ADJACENT TO THE "+1". Enter your phone number and you will get a new box and text message with an authorization number. Enter the authorization number and you will get another screen with some checkmarks (3 if I remember right) confirming you take responsibility, etc. etc.. Then you should get green and be able to take off.

Hope this helps. It's important to understand that the approval via the LAANC process have no connection whatsoever with the DJI process (unless you are in a RED zone and have to provide documentation to DJI that you have approval). That's why I bought an Autel EVO 2 as a backup when I have problems with DJI's overreach. And I've had to use the EVO a couple of times while my P4P remained in the box. (I had LAANC approval for those flights of course.)
 
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Looks to me like you are in a zone where you can legally fly. I have found Airmap LAANC approvals to be somewhat unpredictable. Sometimes it works perfectly and the next time even in the same place it doesn't work at all. There are other apps that can get you the FAA authorization.. (Kittyhawk and skyward.io are a couple I have successfully used.) Once you get that part figured out and get LAANC approvals to work then you have to get DJI to work. On your DJI map in the Go4 App check to see the color of the zone you want to fly in. If any part of it is RED you will have to go through the DJI formal approval process through Flysafe on the DJI website. You will have to have a pdf of the LAANC approval to get DJI approval.

If you are in a self authorization zone when you are booted up and try to start the props there should be a message box pop up in the app stating you are in a restricted zone and asking if you want self approval. When you say yes you get another box asking for your cell phone number. Make sure the country is the USA and note that the "fill-in blank" is way to the right of the "+1" AND NOT ADJACENT TO THE "+1". Enter your phone number and you will get a new box and text message with an authorization number. Enter the authorization number and you will get another screen with some checkmarks (3 if I remember right) confirming you take responsibility, etc. etc.. Then you should get green and be able to take off.

Hope this helps. It's important to understand that the approval via the LAANC process have no connection whatsoever with the DJI process (unless you are in a RED zone and have to provide documentation to DJI that you have approval). That's why I bought an Autel EVO 2 as a backup when I have problems with DJI's overreach. And I've had to use the EVO a couple of times while my P4P remained in the box. (I had LAANC approval for those flights of course.)
Thanks for the suggestion. It's definitely not in a red area. I did get the box asking if I wanted to self unlock but when I put in my phone number it just gave me an error. Maybe I screwed up the number input somehow. If I could get this to work it would be the best solution for my situation by far. A friend suggested I go to FAADroneZone.faa.gov and go through the waiver process, call the tower each time I shoot and then my phone number would automatically unlock the area for the drone. Since this is a 45 minute drive from me I might try that along with your suggestion and see if I get a working solution. I'll post it if I succeed.
 
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Another way, if you want to do it ahead of time before you leave the house or even the day ahead, is to go to the DJI Unlock website (Self Unlocking - Fly Safe - DJI) and follow the directions. You will need a DJI account if you don't already have one. Then select the Self Unlocking, then scroll down to "Select a Zone to Unlock". Select the drone model and do a search on the area or address you will be flying in. Click the blue pin at the airport and scroll down a little more and input your controller SN and the date range (it will allow you 3 days). After clicking "Submit", it will ask a few questions and complete the process. Make sure you use the electronic controller SN that you get in the DJI Go App (not the paper one attached to the controller). After that is complete, you will have to go into the DJI Go App and upload it electronically to your drone and then before you start the drone, you will have to go into the DJI Go App and switch the button on to allow you to start the motors. Hope this isn't to confusing, but after you do it once or twice it is quite simple.
 
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Another way, if you want to do it ahead of time before you leave the house or even the day ahead, is to go to the DJI Unlock website (Self Unlocking - Fly Safe - DJI) and follow the directions. You will need a DJI account if you don't already have one. Then select the Self Unlocking, then scroll down to "Select a Zone to Unlock". Select the drone model and do a search on the area or address you will be flying in. Click the blue pin at the airport and scroll down a little more and input your controller SN and the date range (it will allow you 3 days). After clicking "Submit", it will ask a few questions and complete the process. Make sure you use the electronic controller SN that you get in the DJI Go App (not the paper one attached to the controller). After that is complete, you will have to go into the DJI Go App and upload it electronically to your drone and then before you start the drone, you will have to go into the DJI Go App and switch the button on to allow you to start the motors. Hope this isn't to confusing, but after you do it once or twice it is quite simple.
Great suggestion and I did try that. The problem is when it asks you to select a pin for the place you want to unlock. The pin it creates for the address I enter isn't selectable. One time I saw pins just for airports (which doesn't help me) and last time I didn't see any other pins at all. I don't see any way to create a selectable pin. Maybe there's a secret I don't know?
 
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Thanks for the suggestion. It's definitely not in a red area. I did get the box asking if I wanted to self unlock but when I put in my phone number it just gave me an error. Maybe I screwed up the number input somehow. If I could get this to work it would be the best solution for my situation by far. A friend suggested I go to FAADroneZone.faa.gov and go through the waiver process, call the tower each time I shoot and then my phone number would automatically unlock the area for the drone. Since this is a 45 minute drive from me I might try that along with your suggestion and see if I get a working solution. I'll post it if I succeed.
I think I had the same problem.... Be sure you click out in the center of the phone number field, and not right next to the +1 At least that was what I was doing wrong and I actually figured it out by accident!!!
 
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I think I had the same problem.... Be sure you click out in the center of the phone number field, and not right next to the +1 At least that was what I was doing wrong and I actually figured it out by accident!!!
Self unlocking would be the absolute best solution for this long term job so fingers crossed I can make that work. Thanks again.
 
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I had a similar Situation with two airports by my house. They said LAANC was coming soon but not fast enough for me. I applied for an air space authorization for both airports through the FAA Drone Zone and got approved within one day. The authorizations were for one year and before they expired one of the the airports was LAANC approved. I had to get an authorization for the other one.
As for the self unlock just enter your number and you’ll receive a code, enter code, then agree to the 3 conditions of use. I live in a class D airspace in a zero grid and I am able to start my drone. I don’t fly of course I only do this indoors when I drain down my batteries for maintenance. The unlock status will last you 3 days then you have to do it again.
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Great suggestion and I did try that. The problem is when it asks you to select a pin for the place you want to unlock. The pin it creates for the address I enter isn't selectable. One time I saw pins just for airports (which doesn't help me) and last time I didn't see any other pins at all. I don't see any way to create a selectable pin. Maybe there's a secret I don't know?
New address likely isn't in the system. Try an established address of a business next door. ;)
 
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Not sure if its a road you want to travel, but there are methods to remove the NFZ from the quad itself which would remove the need to get permission each time
 
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Well, I finally got it to work. It required updating the NFZ list on the drone, updating the app and then using a phone (instead on my non-cellular iPad) as the controller. Then when I tried to take off I got the standard "are you sure?" radio boxes to check and it let me self unlock. Hopefully it will keep working for the next year and a half during this project. Fingers crossed. Thanks for all the suggestions.
 
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