On October 31st, the FAA began accepting applications from Part 107 commercial drone operators who want to fly in Class C Airspace.
What’s Class C? Think John Wayne Airport in Orange County, CA or Midway Airport in Chicago, rather than LAX or O’Hare which are both Class B. There are more than 120 Class C airports in the United States.
How to Obtain a Part 107 Airspace Authorization – Like Class C
In order to obtain a waiver for airspace authorization, applicants will need to fill out the FAA’s online form available here. The form for special airspace authorization requires the name and phone number of the PIC, as well as providing the geographic coordinates of the proposed operations. Applicants may also want to consider creating a map of the proposed geographic area, to be provided upon request to the FAA.
Some Tips For Applying For Class C Airspace Authorizations
Applicants will need to submit a waiver for each unique airport they are looking to operate in. Applicants should also seriously consider breaking up their submission into multiple parts, to make the submission easier for the FAA to review and approve.
The FAA has reported that they have rejected 71 Part 107 waiver requests and 854 airspace applications. Do it right the first time.
The Timeline For Approvals for Part 107 Class C Airspace Authorizations
The FAA allows itself up to 90 days to review an application, but has a goal of eventually reviewing and issuing approvals within a matter of hours. This is a brand new process for Part 107 operations so we can expect some delays and changes in protocol. Hopefully a fully computerized process to obtain airspace authorizations for Part 107 operations will be implemented soon for immediate approvals.
Part 107 Waivers vs Airspace Authorizations
At the time this post was published (November 2nd), the FAA has posted 131 approved Part 107 Waivers to their website, the vast majority of which have been for nighttime applications. The FAA has not yet posted applications that have been approved for special airspace authorizations.
Need Help Applying for Part 107 Airspace Authorizations and Waivers?
The Antonelli Law Drone/UAS Practice Group has filed several waivers for its clients. To speak with an attorney to discuss filing a waiver and obtain a quote, call 312-201-8310 or email us at email@example.com.
Note: No part of this post or dronelawsblog.com consists of legal advice. In addition, the process, conditions, and timelines of obtaining approval from the FAA change often and therefore the reader is encouraged to review the FAA source materials on the FAA website.