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CALLING ALL ARIZONA COMMERCIAL OPERATORS
906 14 2016-8-30
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LICENSED PILOT
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I have filed a petition with the office of Arizona Senator McCain to encourage the FAA to develop a process to fast track the COA and/or waiver process for commercial operators to fly within 5 miles of controlled airports. I am losing $$$ waiting for COAs (takes over 60 days), by the time the FAA approves the COA,  the real estate agent has lost interest or the property has sold and or is off the market.  The "new" waiver process states it will take a minimum of 90 days. In FAAspeak, that means well over 90 days.

I fully realize the some times is best to let things lay, but am not willing to sit by and let "someone else" pick up the baton. The problem is about to get much worse now, with thousands taking the part 107 test and going into business.

I am asking if you are an Arizona commercial operator (doesn't really matter if you are not in AZ but it helps) to email the senator's office at casework@mccain.senate.gov and relay your concerns. The more emails the better chance we'll have the senator may pick up the phone and get involved. We have nothing to lose...

2016-8-30
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PeteGould
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I'm not in Arizona but we're all going to have the same problem.  I shoot corporate video and the lifecycle of a corporate project is weeks, not months.  If the corporate campus is within 5NM of an airport and they want an aerial establishing shot, and the video is commissioned in early August, they want a lovely shot with green grass and leaves on the trees - not something shot in November or December (by which time the video will have long since been delivered anyway).  Besides, most of our work is at >=50', not 400'.  Completely irrelevant to manned flight unless you're a block from the airport and in the final approach path to a runway.  30+ days (to say nothing of 60-90 days) will make aerial video completely useless to virtually every corporate client within any area that requires FAA approval to fly.
2016-8-31
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LICENSED PILOT
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PeteGould Posted at 2016-8-31 21:04
I'm not in Arizona but we're all going to have the same problem.  I shoot corporate video and the li ...

you may wish to do the same as I , contact your Senator and start a movement...
2016-8-31
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PeteGould
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LICENSED PILOT Posted at 2016-9-1 03:35
you may wish to do the same as I , contact your Senator and start a movement...

Indeed.  And as you start YOUR movement, let me suggest this: point out that if the FAA makes this process overly onerous and lengthy, there will be many corporate clients who are unwilling to wait, and therefore hire unscrupulous unqualified - and unregistered - operators.  Since the responsibility for unlawful operation rests with the Remote Pilot in Command, the video's end-client has no exposure.  They can farm the work out to whoever they want, and if it's done illegally, it's that person's problem.  Except they'll pay cash and won't know who it is.  So if the FAA wants to maintain control, they HAVE TO make it so the properly certificated, legal operators can get the work done in a timeframe acceptable to their clients.  Otherwise it's going to be chaos out there.
2016-8-31
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LICENSED PILOT
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PeteGould Posted at 2016-9-1 04:26
Indeed.  And as you start YOUR movement, let me suggest this: point out that if the FAA makes this ...

Yes, I have told the FAA, both local and Washington, that their delays obviously encourage illegal operations.  Common sense.
2016-8-31
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PeteGould
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LICENSED PILOT Posted at 2016-9-1 06:07
Yes, I have told the FAA, both local and Washington, that their delays obviously encourage illegal ...

Common sense and the federal government are often mutually exclusive.
2016-8-31
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MJones
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Hi Licensed Pilot,

As you know, Part 107 operations require only ATC clearance for flights in Class B, C, D and surface area E.  This is not a COA but a clearance to "enter" the airspace.  Have you already tried contacting ATC by phone and requesting a clearance prior to flight?  

I understand if you are operating under a 333 and not Part 107, requesting a clearance may not be an option, only a COA.  But since you are a licensed pilot, it is fairly painless to get the Remote Pilot Certificate, operate under Part 107, and try requesting a clearance when needed.

I have just gone through the process and now have the Remote Pilot Certificate but have not yet had a need to operate in controlled airspace.  

Regards,

Mike
2016-9-8
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eggbeater
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Unless I've read things wrong the FAA move is towards approving waiver for long periods and large areas.  For instance waivers for flight over people could be nation wide and up to two years in length.  Flight at night would be regional. airports by each airport.  larger fixed wing UAV may travel from commercial airport to commercial airport and will need ATC procedures. The waivers will need to explain through risk management analysis and risk mitigation i.e. strobes, parachutes, transponders, radio communications, observers and ETC.  
2016-9-8
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LICENSED PILOT
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MJones Posted at 2016-9-8 18:07
Hi Licensed Pilot,

As you know, Part 107 operations require only ATC clearance for flights in Class ...

I do have my remote pilot ticket now. I wanted to get a waiver for a one time night flight and have requested so. Not sure what you mean by only requiring ATC clearance; not a waiver? Then why new the waiver process under 107?
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2016-9-10
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MJones
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LICENSED PILOT Posted at 2016-9-10 18:08
I do have my remote pilot ticket now. I wanted to get a waiver for a one time night flight and have ...

Hi Licensed Pilot,

Congratulations on obtaining your Remote Pilot Certificate!  With regard to "Waiver" or "Authorization/Clearance"  the FAA, beginning on page 328 of their release document for 14 CFR Part 107, has a discussion about this issue.  Basically, a "waiver" means authority to deviate from an existing regulation.  So requesting a waiver for a night flight that is specifically prohibited by the existing Part 107 regulation is entirely correct.

However, for flight in certain controlled airspace, the language in the regulation is that it is already allowed with ATC authorization.  So the question is "How does one request ATC authorization?"  The current situation, and explained in the FAA document, is that currently there are TWO methods:  one is to use the online waiver/authorization request.  For night flight, you requested a waiver; for flight in controlled airspace you would be requesting authorization for an activity already allowed by the regulation.  Another method would be to contact the ATC facility directly in writing or perhaps with a phone call.  Radio call is not permitted as explained in the FAA discussion.

The FAA is clear that requesting authorization will be an evolving process, but the good news is that they are expecting sUAS operations in controlled airspace and want a systematic way to handle these operations safely.

Regards,

Mike
2016-9-14
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DJI-Ken
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Th is an interesting thread, I fly quite often in AZ and I've also have my 333 for well over a year and also a private pilot.
I agree the COA process or any process is quite lengthy.
I put in an amendment for additional aircraft many months ago and still have not heard back.
2016-9-14
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BMartin
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LICENSED PILOT Posted at 2016-9-10 18:08
I do have my remote pilot ticket now. I wanted to get a waiver for a one time night flight and have ...

The waiver process allows you to receive FAA permission to deviate from Part 107 restrictions for up to a four year period before having to renew the waiver. I believe you still have to request ATC permission 24 hrs prior to each flight (but I may be wrong on this). We still notify ATC 24 hrs prior to any flight we make (we fall under Class D airspace).
2016-10-7
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LICENSED PILOT
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BMartin Posted at 2016-10-8 00:53
The waiver process allows you to receive FAA permission to deviate from Part 107 restrictions for  ...

Right, I assume the waiver, if I ever get it, will be very clear about contacting ATC. I understood what the MJones was saying was by contacting ATC no waiver is needed. A waiver for night flights is always needed.
2016-10-8
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BMartin
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LICENSED PILOT Posted at 2016-10-8 10:29
Right, I assume the waiver, if I ever get it, will be very clear about contacting ATC. I understood ...

What the attorney we have hired to file our waivers is telling us is that the waiver allows you to fly in the area designated by said waiver without having to notify ATC. I plan on notifying my local airpatch 24 hours before flight as a courtesy unless they tell me it is not necessary. He said that we should have the waivers back within 90 days. Most he has filed have come back sooner to date.

2016-10-18
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R_Martin
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LICENSED PILOT Posted at 2016-10-8 09:29
Right, I assume the waiver, if I ever get it, will be very clear about contacting ATC. I understood ...

Update:

The first check box on the online portal form is a request for a certificate of authorization. A lot more simple than obtaining a waiver. A CoA grants you authorization to operate under the guidelines specified within the finding by the FAA and you still have to notify per Part 107 rules. With a CoA you can also file a DROTAM online via SkyVector or 1800wxbrief. The waiver route grants you authority to fly within a specific patch of controlled airspace without having to provide notification (to my limited knowledge). Everything I have seen to dat indicates that not many waivers are being granted for airspace. Most are for nightime ops.
2016-11-17
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