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USA Part 107 Operations in Los Angeles

Discussion in 'Certified UAV Pilots' started by Joola, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. Joola

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    This is regarding operating within Class B airspace around LAX. I understand their airspace extends 25 miles from the airport from the surface to 10k feet. This would mean any operations in almost every part of the City of LA would require permission from LAX ATC (under Part 107).

    Has anyone had any success contacting and getting permission from LAX in the past? I've heard in the past that LAX doesn't give permission for any drone flights in their airspace. Not sure if that's still the case.

    I should add that I'm not planning on going the 333 Exemption route.
     
  2. ADT

    ADT

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    Not sure in LA, but in Phoenix I have yet to hear of anyone getting permission to fly in Class B space.
     
  3. Dave Armbrust

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    If you have a remote pilot certificate you might be able to get that permission. There is no 333 waivers anymore. You must be a certified remote pilot to get any waivers and then they will be Part 107 waivers. Depending on your operation you may not need any waivers at all.
     
  4. Jason1234

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    Not sure about the past, but you don't contact LAX (control tower) for a Part 107 airspace authorization. If you do, they should direct you to www.faa.gov/uas where you can apply for an airspace authorization. Then you get to wait 90+ days and maybe get a positive response. So the quick answer is that nobody with a Part 107 certificate has received a Part 107.41 airspace authorization for any class of controlled airspace yet.

    We've been talking about this over here: Part 107 Asinine Airspace Authorization Rules
     
  5. Dave Armbrust

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    That is incorrect as discussed on the other asinine thread you mentioned. You still get authorization from the tower through 10/03/2016. LAX may or may not grant that authorization, but it is the proper channel for now.

    I have started a thread that explains the process for all controlled airspace that start at the surface:

    USA - Part 107 Flights in Controlled Airspace
     
  6. Jason1234

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    I know you're adamant about this, but you are not correct according to all published guidance at this time. I understand exactly what the regulations state, and that JO 7200.23 isn't effective until 10/3/2016. The currently applicable guidance is found in Advisory Circular 107-2, dated 6/21/16, which states:

    5.8 Operation Near Airports; in Certain Airspace; in Prohibited or Restricted Areas; or
    in the Proximity of Certain Areas Designated by a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM).

    Though many sUAS operations will occur in uncontrolled airspace, there are some that
    may need to operate in controlled airspace. Operations in Class B, Class C, or Class D
    airspace, or within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace
    designated for an airport, are not allowed unless that person has prior authorization from
    air traffic control (ATC). The link to the current authorization process can be found at
    www.faa.gov/uas/. ​

    I could't be any clearer. That's the current authorization process in effect 8/29/16 and today, 9/2/16. That also happens to be the same process that goes into effect 10/3/16 via JO 7200.23. It doesn't say that the web link is one of the acceptable methods or that other methods of obtaining permission are acceptable. There is no other published guidance that specifically states how to obtain authorization. Despite the ambiguity of the regulation, the ACTC is likely to follow the current guidance (AC 107-2) on the matter.

    I would welcome anything you can find in writing to the contrary, or any experience you have with actually obtaining airspace permission.

    To try to get some practical answers, I just spoke with the ATCT at KFMY and KAPF and neither had any clue and were not prepared to issue any airspace authorization under Part 107. The RSW tower directed me to RSW's FAA business office, and I spoke to the gentleman that completed the area's sector map that was submitted to the FAA for the JO 7200.23 process. He was familiar with Part 107 regulations. He was under the assumption that all Part 107 airspace authorizations were handled though HQ. He also mentioned that they hadn't received training the FAA promised 45 days prior to implementation. Nonetheless, none of my local control towers were prepared to issue an airspace authorization to a Part 107 remote pilot.

    If your ACTC does provide permission, they are not following the guidance in the currently applicable Advisory Circular. While they may not be bound by the AC, it is the de facto standard and further explains how to comply with the regulation in Part 107.41. If you are granted permission by the ATCT, you would be well served to document it somehow and be prepared to explain why you accepted authorization using anything other than the published guidance. I wouldn't take the risk. They can come after your CFI or Private license for violating a Part 107 rule, so those of us with manned pilot credentials have a lot to lose with Part 107 violations, especially if you are deemed to have been reckless.

    Dave, I'm not trying to get into a debate with you or prove you wrong. I simply want to share what I have learned with the community and help everyone make this journey less frustrating. The FAA and ATC personnel are equally confused with new Part 107 pilots on various online forums that thought this was going to be a simple call to the ATCT. It is not – not now or in the near future.
     
  7. n9ami

    n9ami Guest

    Apply for waiver and no blanket waivers at this time FAA knows this.. You have to give 90 day lead time per waiver per location. Yup rule is stupid but thats the rule for now.

     
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  8. William Gaddy

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    A quick look at the chart on SkyVector.com around LAX (I've never flown in the area) shows that there is plenty of Golf airspace below the Bravo "layercake" scattered around LA below 400 feet AGL (and up to 700 feet AGL in many spots). You might be thinking of the 30 NM Mode-C "Veil" centered around LAX. I'm led to understand (from the Federal Register) that this requirement only applies to aircraft whose electrical systems are generated by a non-electric main propulsion powerplant. In other words, a lithium battery powered aircraft under part 107 is not required to have an ADS-B transponder when operating in Golf airspace within the Node C veil of Bravo airspace (if you're adhering to Part 107 rules, such as VLOS and top height of 400 AGL, daytime, 3NM visibility etc). If you're a part 107 pilot, you should, as part of your SOP before a flight contact the FSS for a full briefing about the location(s) and times you intend to fly and they will surely tell you if I'm wrong, in any case... When they mandate ADS-B in 2020 they will probably require all commercial drones to have an ADS-B capability like with the Pico2020 and this will all change, however.
     
  9. AMGPilot

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    You're confusing the mode C Veil with the actual Bravo airspace.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. William Gaddy

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    I identified the surface to 10000 Bravo, but inside the 30NM Veil (which includes a lot of the LA basin and the greater metro area) is a lot of Class B that only starts at 2000 feet or above (e.g. Class B Area H). That being said, there is also quite a bit of surface Class D and E sitting under the Bravo. My point was that not everywhere in LA on the surface is B,C,D, or E. Nevertheless, I'd be as worried about municipal take off and landing restrictions as much as airspace.
     
  11. Joola

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    This is all helpful info everyone. Thanks. I'm currently studying for the sUAS certification and I'm slowly beginning to understand the lingo and the airspace requirements. It's been interesting to see how much confusion there has been between the more seasoned members as well. It makes me feel a little better for not understanding it right away.
     
  12. Dave Armbrust

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    As mention previously if the tower will not grant the necessary permission i.e. KFMY and/or KAPF then there is no recourse, you can not fly.

    I suspect it maybe how you worded it when you called. Perhaps your were asking for Part 107 airspace authorization as your post implies. I have a gut feeling that if I called I would have got a different response.

    I would have simply stated exactly what and where I wanted to fly in a way that was easy for the tower to understand when and where I was flying such as a bearing and distance from the airport or a NAV aid.

    Most likely the reply would have been "okay" with some specific instructions regarding coordination. This is ATC authorization, regardless what other procedures are listed on the webpage, current or future.

    Remember the purpose of all of this. It is so the tower knows what you are doing to advise manned air traffic of your flight and/or to route traffic away from your location.

    The tower would much rather you call rather than just do it without their knowledge. These unauthorized drone flights have become almost a daily occurance, imagine how refreshing it must be to them to get a call describing when and where and a phone number where they can contact you.

    What I describe may not follow the guidance that is not effective until 10/03/2016 but it does follow the regulation 107.41.
     
  13. Jason1234

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    So what do you suggest? Lie to the controller? Obscure your intentions? "Okay, have fun," is not adequate permission in my book.

    I think you are being irresponsible with what you are telling people. The FAA clearly wants you to follow the published guidance. Bamboozling a unaware ATCT doesn't get you off the hook.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
     
  14. Dave Armbrust

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    Your comments are way out of line here. I clearly stated you should tell them exactly where, when and what you are doing.

    Your implications that I am irresponsible, lying to the controller, obscuring my intentions and bamboozling ATCT are way over the top.
     
  15. Jason1234

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    Well, then why hide that you are conducting a commercial flight under Part 107? And even if you did tell them and they did grant "permission," why would you accept it knowing full well what the intention of the FAA is? They have clearly stated the intent of the regulation and the process for airspace authorization. You are suggesting that people should ignore the current guidance and get around it in some way. I find that irresponsible, especially coming from someone with your qualifications.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
     
  16. Dave Armbrust

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    Now, I am hiding the fact that this is a commercial flight? That was the first question they asked and I fully and truthfully answer it. For you to imply that I would have done anything other than this is way out of line and uncalled for.

    Accepting permission from ATC as being authorization is irresponsible! Do you even read what you write?
     
  17. Jason1234

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    Getting around the current guidance, contrary to the Advisory Circular, which all pilots and controllers should heed, is irresponsible. That's my opinion. Legal? Perhaps. But I'm not planning to test those waters.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
     
  18. William Gaddy

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    Gentlemen: hopefully any distinction will become black and white once the centralized clearinghouse for airspace authorization at faa.gov/uas gets sorted out after 10/3/16. Then this all will become a moot point (fingers crossed).
     
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  19. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ Administrator
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    Lets try to keep this civil people. Agree to disagree if thats what it takes but the bickering needs to end. Thank you.

    be-nice-on-internet.jpg
     
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  20. licensed pilot

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    Don't quite understand these discussions, as the rules are clear. We are NOT flying manned aircraft. 107.41 waiver process is quite clear. We don't like it, but it's clear. The place to get an answer that will hold is the FSDO, preferably in email form, so you have a record. I worked too damn hard to earn my commercial pilot ticket and will not take any chances just to make a buck. The same goes for my Remote Pilot Certificate (the "hook" everyone placed themselves on when accepting RPC privileges). Nothing sadder than having the FAA revoke your ticket. I've lost a few jobs waiting for COAs under my 333 and it pissed me off, but not enough to risk both my certificates, though. Have patience, things will get better.