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FAA Tactical Operations Section Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office
1505 10 2015-6-9
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PureSQNut
Second Officer

United States
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Last week I emailed the air traffic control tower of the local airport here in regards to an upcoming flight that I am looking to make about 4 miles from the airport and the tower director has never delt with anybody with a drone or recreational model aircraft other than negastive issues and problems she he contacted hte FAA directly.

Today I received a call from the National Operations manager for the FAA's Tactical Operations Section Unmannded Aircraft Systems Integraiton Office (yeah thats a mouth full) wanting to speak with me about my flight plans.

He was very professional and had lots of questions but the biggest concern was that I was under no cicrumstances making any money off of my flight/video time.

We spoke for just over an hour and he was very happy to speak with another drone pilot that has done his homework on FAA regulations and laws etc and that I was reaching out to the local air traffic controllers to work with them, instead of unannounced nad against them.

I was able to pursue a conversation with him about the FAA's outlook on UAV's/Drones/Quads and he very positively stated that things are coming together and one of the best things that happened was when some drone companies started implimenting Geo based NFZ's into their GPS based systems. He stated that this addition alone slammed the brakes on a LOT of very strict and harsh regulations and proposed laws that were being suggested for recreational users and even stronger suggested regulations on commercial drone pilots.

All and all it was a positive experience we have been emailing back and forth most of the day and come to find out, hes a P2 owner. LOL He has given me his cell phone number and direct line for any inquiries or future needs to contact a flight tower that isnt responding to inquiry or notification.

But has anybody heard of this division?

2015-6-9
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GB44
Captain
Flight distance : 343848 ft
United Kingdom
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Good post and even better contact for you to keep friendly with especially given he also owns a P2

Lets hope the FAA will see common ground with the likes of the CAA in the UK and agree to commercial certified training such as that provided by EuroUSC to demonstrate competence and not seek to enforce full Pilots (Manned) aircraft license for commercial use of UAV's.  Hopefully this will migrate across on a global front so that all countries recognise commercial UAV Pilots similar to the manned aircraft Pilot license, just for clarity.

Thanks for sharing that though.
2015-6-9
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pidetectives
First Officer
Flight distance : 2073940 ft
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United States
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Drone Testing Meeting
FAA chief speaks at Las Vegas symposium

http://lasvegas.cbslocal.com/2015/06/09/drone-testing-meeting/
2015-6-9
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fwickeha
Second Officer
Flight distance : 173455 ft

United States
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You may find this document of interest <http://www.faa.gov/news/fact_sheets/news_story.cfm?newsId=14153>

Particularly:  "In 2012, the FAA established the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office to provide a one-stop portal for civil and public use UAS in U.S. airspace. This office is developing a comprehensive plan to integrate and establish operational and certification requirements for UAS. It will also oversee and coordinate UAS research and development."
2015-6-10
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PureSQNut
Second Officer

United States
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Seems they have also been doing a lot of updating to the site lately as well...

http://www.faa.gov/uas/

On a side note I received my flight clearance today for this weekend. They are actually shifting the approach/decent patterns for the NW runway to give me a 1.5 hour slot. WAY MORE than I expected. Also received a thank you letter from the tower for notifying and working with them thru their learning curve of dealing with a drone pilot for the first time.

On another positive note, I found out that this Airport holds a monthly pancake breakfast fundraiser once a month for local kids charities. Interesting enough they typically have on average between 75-100 additional flights in and out of the airport just to attend that breakfast (man that must be nice).  They have a pilots association that always speaks about pilot topics etc during the breakfast and are now adding "Sharing the airspace with UAV's" to their discussion docket and the tower manager will be talking about this interaction with me for this weekend plus everything he has learned from the FAA.  They have invited me to attend to listen in and take part if I desire as it was clearly stated by the contact at the FAA "at this time drone operators commercial or recreational are considered pilots and should be treated within the community as such".

I know its not leaps and bounds, but every little step of positive anything with airplan pilots will help as Im sure several of them have all had their issues or altercations with some idiot pilot behind a controller of something RC.
2015-6-10
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Midnightrider
lvl.2

United States
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I attended the Atlanta Aero Club’s June meeting, the featured program was a panel discussion about Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).  The panel consisted of UAS experts:  
•CAPT (US Navy, Ret.) Mike Wilson, of the FAA's Southern Region UAS Program Office

•Mr. Paul Ferguson, CNN Infrastructure and Technology Leader

•CAPT (US Navy, Ret.) John Lambert, Senior Vice President of Nexutech, CEO of Unmanned Systems Research and Consulting,  and previous Board Member and Chairman of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI)

•Mr. Will Wheeler, UAS Operator for Phoenix Air Unmanned based in Cartersville, GA.

They all said the issues are tough, that they were making progress. But are being slowed by the number of issues and wayward Pilots. My hope is that something will happen before the end of 2015.
2015-8-24
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Midnightrider
lvl.2

United States
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PureSQNut Posted at 2015-6-11 02:38
Seems they have also been doing a lot of updating to the site lately as well...

http://www.faa.gov/ ...

I've been asked to shoot some silt build-up in a river by an NGO. It is 4.8 miles from a low activity Airport. I've thought of contacting the Tower to let them know I would be flying in the area and of obtaining a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA). Any opinions on this?
2015-8-24
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korbike
lvl.1

United States
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Midnightrider Posted at 2015-8-24 22:51
I've been asked to shoot some silt build-up in a river by an NGO. It is 4.8 miles from a low activ ...

If this is "for hire" do you have the 333 waiver?  Don't think you could get a COA without one.
2015-8-24
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sthuemmel
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1749321 ft
United States
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Midnightrider Posted at 2015-8-24 22:51
I've been asked to shoot some silt build-up in a river by an NGO. It is 4.8 miles from a low activ ...

Is the airport in the DJI No Fly Zone?  If not, you should be able to work with ATC tower or the people who want you to film can help with the airport issues.
If you are in a DJI No Fly Zone, this may help;  https://www.heliguy.com/pg/Opportunities/override-no-fly-zone
2015-8-25
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Midnightrider
lvl.2

United States
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korbike Posted at 2015-8-25 01:46
If this is "for hire" do you have the 333 waiver?  Don't think you could get a COA without one.

This is pro-bono for a friend on the committee.
2015-8-26
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Midnightrider
lvl.2

United States
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sthuemmel Posted at 2015-8-26 10:48
Is the airport in the DJI No Fly Zone?  If not, you should be able to work with ATC tower or the p ...

Thanks STH! As this is a low activity airport it may not be in DJI's database. Not in this one ether. https://www.mapbox.com/drone/no-fly/
2015-8-26
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