No person may operate a sUA 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 unless that person has prior authorization from ATC.
5.10 Operation Near Airports, in Certain Airspace, in Prohibited or Restricted Areas, or in the Proximity of Certain Areas Designated by a Notice to Air Mission (NOTAM). SUA may operate in controlled or uncontrolled 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 permitted unless that person has prior authorization from ATC (§ 107.41). Information concerning the current authorization process is available at https://www.faa.gov/uas/. The remote PIC must understand airspace classifications and requirements. Failure to do so could be contrary to part 107 regulations and may potentially have an adverse effect on the safety of operations. SUAS operating under part 107 may not be subject to part 91 requirements, because the equipage and communications requirements outlined in part 91 were designed to provide safety and efficiency in the NAS. ATC authorizations may depend on operational parameters similar to those found in
part 91. The FAA has the authority to approve or deny aircraft operations based on traffic density, controller workload, communication issues, or any other type of operation that could potentially impact the safe and expeditious flow of air traffic in that airspace.
5.10.1 SUA Operations Near an Airport—Notification and Permissions. Unless the flight is conducted within controlled airspace, no notification or authorization is necessary to operate a sUA at or near an airport. When operating in the vicinity of an airport, the remote PIC must be aware of and avoid all traffic patterns and approach corridors to runways and landing areas. The remote PIC must avoid operating in any area in which the presence of the sUAS may interfere with operations at the airport, such as approach corridors, taxiways, runways, or helipads
(§ 107.43). The remote PIC must yield right-of-way to all other aircraft, including aircraft operating on the surface of the airport (§ 107.43).
18.104.22.168 Remote PICs are prohibited from operating a sUA in a manner that interferes with operations and traffic patterns at airports, heliports, and seaplane bases (§ 107.43). SUA must always yield right-of-way to a crewed aircraft. A crewed aircraft may alter its flightpath, delay its landing, or take off in order to avoid a sUA that may present a potential conflict or otherwise affect the safe outcome of the flight. A sUA hovering 200 feet above a runway may cause a crewed aircraft holding short of the runway to delay takeoff, or a crewed aircraft on the downwind leg of the pattern to delay landing. While the sUA in this scenario would not present an immediate traffic conflict to the aircraft on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern or to the aircraft intending to take off, nor would it violate the right-of-way provision of § 107.37(a), the sUA would have interfered with the operations of the traffic pattern at an airport.
22.214.171.124 In order to avoid interfering with operations in a traffic pattern, remote PICs should avoid operating in the traffic pattern or published approach corridors used by crewed aircraft. When operational necessity requires the remote PIC to operate at an airport in uncontrolled airspace, the remote PIC should operate the sUA in such a way that the crewed aircraft pilot does not need to alter his or her flightpath in the traffic pattern or on a published instrument approach in order to avoid a potential collision.
5.10.2 Air Traffic Organization (ATO). When receiving requests for authorization to operate in controlled airspace, ATO does not approve or deny sUA operations on the basis of equipage that exceeds the part 107 requirements. Additional equipage and technologies, such as geo-fencing, have not been certificated by the FAA and need to be examined on a case-by-case basis in order for the FAA to determine their reliability and functionality. Additionally, requiring staff from ATO to review equipage would place a burden on ATO and detract from other duties. Instead of seeking an authorization, a remote pilot who wishes to operate in controlled airspace because the remote pilot can demonstrate mitigations through equipage may do so by applying for a CoW (see paragraph 5.20).
5.10.3 Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR). Certain TFRs may be imposed by way of a NOTAM. Refer to https://www.1800wxbrief.com. The remote PIC must check for NOTAMs before each flight to determine whether any airspace restrictions apply to the operation.
5.10.4 Type of Airspace. Remote PICs must also be aware of the type of airspace in which they will be operating their sUA. Referring to the B4UFly app or a current aeronautical chart (refer to https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/flight_info/aeronav/digital_pro ducts/) of the intended operating area will aid the sUA remote PIC’s decision making regarding operations in the NAS.
According to 14 CFR Part 107, how may a Remote Pilot in Command (Remote PIC) operate an uncrewed aircraft in controlled airspace (Class B, C, D, and E associated with an airport)?
Without prior ATC authorization, you can fly your sUAS below 400 feet above the ground (AGL) and:
No person may operate a sUA in a manner that interferes with operations and traffic patterns at any airport, heliport, or seaplane base.
No person may operate a sUA in prohibited or restricted areas unless that person has permission from the using or controlling agency, as appropriate.
Prior to flight, the remote PIC must:
(a) Assess the operating environment, considering risks to persons and property in the immediate vicinity both on the surface and in the air. This assessment must include:
(1) Local weather conditions;
(2) Local airspace and any flight restrictions;
(3) The location of persons and property on the surface; and
(4) Other ground hazards.
(b) Ensure that all persons directly participating in the sUA operation are informed about the operating conditions, emergency procedures, contingency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and potential hazards;
(c) Ensure that all control links between ground control station and the sUA are working properly;
(d) If the sUA is powered, ensure that there is enough available power for the sUAS to operate for the intended operational time;
(e) Ensure that any object attached or carried by the sUA is secure and does not adversely affect the flight characteristics or controllability of the aircraft; and
(f) If the operation will be conducted over human beings under subpart D of this part, ensure that the aircraft meets the requirements of §107.110, §107.120(a), §107.130(a), or §107.140, as applicable.
5.11 Preflight Familiarization, Inspection, and Actions for Aircraft Operation. The remote PIC must complete a preflight familiarization, inspection, and other actions, such as crewmember briefings, prior to beginning flight operations (§ 107.49). The FAA has produced many publications providing in-depth information on topics such as aviation weather, aircraft loading and performance, emergency procedures, risk mitigation, ADM, and airspace, which should all be considered prior to operations (see Appendix E, Sample Preflight Assessment and Inspection Checklist). Additionally, all remote pilots are encouraged to review FAA publications (see paragraph 2.3).
5.11.1 Prior to Flight. The remote PIC must:
1. Conduct an assessment of the operating environment. The assessment must include at least the following:
- Local weather conditions;
- Local airspace and any flight restrictions;
- The location of persons and moving vehicles not directly participating in the operation, and property on the surface;
- If conducting operations over people or moving vehicles, ensure their sUA is eligible for the category or categories of operations (see Chapter 8);
- Consider the potential for persons and moving vehicles not directly participating in operations entering the operational area for the duration of the operation;
- Consider whether the operation will be conducted over an open-air assembly of persons; and
- Other ground hazards.
Note: Remove pilots are prohibited from operating a sUA as a Category 1, 2, or 4 operation in sustained flight over open-air assemblies unless the operation meets the requirements of § 89.110 or § 89.115(a).
2. Ensure all persons directly participating in the sUAS operation are informed about the following:
- Operating conditions;
- Emergency procedures;
- Contingency procedures, including those for persons or moving vehicles not directly participating in the operation that enter the operational area;
- Roles and responsibilities of each person participating in the operation; and
- Potential hazards.
- Ensure all control links between the CS and the sUA are working properly. Before each flight, the remote PIC must determine the sUA flight control surfaces necessary for the safety of flight are moving correctly through the manipulation of the sUA CS. If the remote PIC observes that one or more of the control surfaces are not responding correctly to CS inputs, then the remote PIC may not conduct flight operations until correct movement of all flight control surface(s) is established.
- Ensure sufficient power exists to continue controlled flight operations to a normal landing. This can be accomplished by following the sUAS manufacturer’s operating manual power consumption tables. Another method would be to include a system on the sUAS that detects power levels and alerts the remote pilot when remaining aircraft power is diminishing to a level that is inadequate for continued flight operation.
- Ensure the sUA anti-collision light(s) function(s) properly prior to any flight that will occur during civil twilight or at night. The remote PIC must also consider, during his or her preflight check, whether the anti-collision light(s) could reduce the amount of power available to the sUA. The remote PIC may need to reduce the planned duration of the sUA operation to ensure sufficient power exists to maintain the illuminated anti-collision light(s) and to ensure sufficient power exists for the sUA to proceed to a normal landing.
- Ensure any object attached or carried by the sUA is secure and does not adversely affect the flight characteristics or controllability of the aircraft.
- Ensure all necessary documentation is available for inspection, including the remote PIC’s Remote Pilot Certificate, identification, aircraft registration, and CoW, if applicable (§ 107.7).
5.11.2 Safety Risk Assessment. These preflight familiarizations, inspections, and actions can be accomplished as part of an overall safety risk assessment. The FAA encourages the remote PIC to conduct the overall safety risk assessment as a method of compliance with the restriction on operating over any person who is not directly involved in the operation, unless the sUA is eligible for an operation over people in accordance with part 107 subpart D. The safety risk assessment also assists with ensuring the sUA will remain clear of other aircraft. Appendix A provides additional guidance on how to conduct an overall safety risk assessment.
A remote PIC and the person manipulating the flight controls of the sUAS must comply with all of the following operating limitations when operating a sUAS:
(a) The groundspeed of the sUA may not exceed 87 knots (100 miles per hour).
(b) The altitude of the sUA cannot be higher than 400 feet above ground level, unless the sUA:
(1) Is flown within a 400-foot radius of a structure; and
(2) Does not fly higher than 400 feet above the structure's immediate uppermost limit.
(c) The minimum flight visibility, as observed from the location of the control station must be no less than 3 statute miles. For purposes of this section, flight visibility means the average slant distance from the control station at which prominent unlighted objects may be seen and identified by day and prominent lighted objects may be seen and identified by night.
(d) The minimum distance of the sUA from clouds must be no less than:
(1) 500 feet below the cloud; and
(2) 2,000 feet horizontally from the cloud.
5.12 Operating Limitations for SUA. Operations of the sUA must comply with the following limitations:
- Cannot be flown faster than a groundspeed of 87 knots (100 miles per hour (mph));
- Cannot be flown higher than 400 feet AGL, unless flown within a 400-foot radius of a structure and does not fly higher than 400 feet above the structure’s immediate uppermost limit;
- Minimum visibility, as observed from the location of the CS, may not be less than 3 sm; and
- Minimum distance from clouds being no less than 500 feet below a cloud and no less than 2,000 feet horizontally from the cloud (§ 107.51).
Note: These operating limitations are intended, among other things, to support the remote pilot’s ability to identify hazardous conditions relating to encroaching aircraft or persons on the ground, and to take appropriate actions to maintain safety.
5.12.1 Determining Groundspeed. Many different types of sUA and different ways to determine groundspeed exist. This guidance will only touch on some of the possible means for the remote PIC to ensure the sUA does not exceed a groundspeed of 87 knots during flight operations. Examples of methods to ensure compliance with this limitation are:
- Installing a Global Positioning System (GPS) device on the sUA that reports groundspeed information to the remote pilot, allowing the remote pilot to determine the wind direction and speed and calculate the sUA airspeed for a given direction of flight;
- Timing the groundspeed of the sUA when it is flown between two or more fixed points, considering wind speed and direction between each point, then noting the power settings of the sUA to operate at or less than 87 knots groundspeed; or
- Using the sUA’s manufacturer design limitations (e.g., installed groundspeed limiters).
5.12.2 Determining Altitude. In order to comply with the maximum altitude requirements of part 107, a remote pilot may determine altitude by:
- Installing a calibrated altitude reporting device on the sUA that reports the sUA altitude above mean sea level (MSL) to the remote pilot, who subtracts the MSL elevation of the CS from the sUA reported MSL altitude to determine the sUA AGL altitude above the terrain or structure;
- Installing a GPS device on the sUA that has the capability of reporting MSL altitude to the remote pilot;
- Having the remote pilot and VO pace off 400 feet from the sUA while it is on the ground to get a visual perspective of distance so that the remote pilot and VO can recognize and maintain that visual perspective (or closer) when the sUA is in flight; or
- Using the known height of local rising terrain and/or structures as a reference.
5.12.3 Visibility and Distance from Clouds. The remote PIC must determine that the visibility from the CS is at least 3 sm and that the sUA maintains at least 500 feet below clouds and at least 2,000 feet horizontally from clouds. Obtaining local aviation weather reports that include current and forecast weather conditions is one means of determining visibility and cloud clearance. If there is more than one local aviation reporting station near the operating area, the remote PIC should choose the closest one that is most representative of the terrain surrounding the operating area. If local aviation weather reports are not available, the remote PIC cannot operate the sUA until he or she is able to determine the required visibility and cloud clearances by other reliable means. The sUA cannot be operated above any cloud, and there cannot be obstructions to visibility, such as smoke or a cloud, between the sUA and the remote PIC (§ 107.39).
In accordance with 14 CFR part 107, except when within a 400 feet radius of a structure, at what maximum altitude can you operate an sUAS?
This subpart applies to the operation of all civil sUAS subject to this part.
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, no person may manipulate the flight controls of a sUAS unless:
(1) That person has a remote pilot certificate with a sUAS rating issued pursuant to subpart C of this part and satisfies the requirements of §107.65; or
(2) That person is under the direct supervision of a remote PIC and the remote PIC has the ability to immediately take direct control of the flight of the sUA.
(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, no person may act as a remote PIC unless that person has a remote pilot certificate with a sUAS rating issued pursuant to Subpart C of this part and satisfies the requirements of §107.65.
(c) The Administrator may, consistent with international standards, authorize an aircrew to operate a civil foreign-registered sUA without an FAA-issued remote pilot certificate with a sUAS rating.
See Daylight Operations on previous page.
5.17 Remote Identification of UAS. Remote identification requirements are contained in part 89. The information contained in this AC covers the remote identification operational requirements that are relevant to all part 107 operators. Additional information related to remote identification is available in the following ACs:
- AC 89-1, Means of Compliance Process for Remote Identification of UA.
- AC 89-2, Declaration of Compliance Process for Remote Identification of UA.
5.17.1 After September 16, 2023, most sUA that are registered or required to be registered must comply with remote identification requirements. The serial number of a standard remote identification UA, or of the remote identification broadcast module, if one is installed on the UA, must be listed on the Certificate of Aircraft Registration. The serial number may only be listed on one Certificate of Aircraft Registration at a time. The remote identification broadcast module may be moved from one UA operated under part 107 to another, but the serial number must also be moved from the first aircraft’s Certificate of Aircraft Registration to the second aircraft’s certificate prior to operation. SUA that are not required to be registered under part 48, such as those where the UA weighs 0.55 pounds or less, must comply with remote identification requirements when operated under any operating part for which registration is required. Remote identification provides data regarding the location and identification of sUA operating in the NAS. It also provides airspace awareness to the FAA, national security agencies, and law enforcement entities, which can be used to distinguish compliant airspace users from those potentially posing a safety or security risk. A list of UA by make and model that are compliant with remote identification will be found at https://www.faa.gov/uas, when developed.
5.17.2 Standard remote identification UA broadcast certain message elements over radio frequency (RF) spectrum. These message elements include: UA Identification (either the UA’s serial number or session ID); latitude, longitude, and geometric altitude of both the CS and the UA; the velocity of the UA (including horizontal and vertical speed and direction); a time mark; and an emergency status code (§ 89.110).
5.17.3 SUA without remote identification. SUA that are not standard remote identification UA may operate in one of two ways: the sUA may be equipped with a remote identification broadcast module, or the sUA may be operated within an FAA-recognized identification area (FRIA) (§ 89.115).
126.96.36.199 UA equipped with remote identification modules may be integrated by the manufacturer (e.g., if a manufacturer upgraded or retrofit the aircraft) or a standalone broadcast module installed by the user secured to the UA prior to takeoff. The remote identification broadcast module broadcasts certain message elements directly from the UA over RF spectrum. These message elements include: the UA Identification, the UA’s serial number; latitude, longitude, and geometric altitude of the UAt; latitude, longitude, and geometric altitude of the takeoff location; the velocity of the UA (including horizontal and vertical speed and direction); and a time mark. SUA using a remote identification broadcast module must be operated within VLOS (§ 89.115(a)).
188.8.131.52 A person operating a sUA that is not a standard remote identification UA may also operate within VLOS within a FRIA, regardless of the type of operation conducted (e.g., part 91, 107, or other). You will be able to access a list of FRIAs at https://www.faa.gov/uas when available (§ 89.115).
Unless otherwise authorized by the Administrator, no person may operate a sUAS under this part with ADS-B Out equipment in transmit mode.
(a) A conviction for the violation of any Federal or State statute relating to the growing, processing, manufacture, sale, disposition, possession, transportation, or importation of narcotic drugs, marijuana, or depressant or stimulant drugs or substances is grounds for:
(1) Denial of an application for a remote pilot certificate with a sUAS rating for a period of up to 1 year after the date of final conviction; or
(2) Suspension or revocation of a remote pilot certificate with a sUAS rating.
(b) Committing an act prohibited by §91.17(a) or §91.19(a) of this chapter is grounds for:
(1) Denial of an application for a remote pilot certificate with a sUAS rating for a period of up to 1 year after the date of that act; or
(2) Suspension or revocation of a remote pilot certificate with a sUAS rating.
A refusal to submit to a test to indicate the percentage by weight of alcohol in the blood, when requested by a law enforcement officer in accordance with § 91.17(c) of this chapter, or a refusal to furnish or authorize the release of the test results requested by the Administrator in accordance with § 91.17(c) or (d) of this chapter, is grounds for:
(a) Denial of an application for a remote pilot certificate with a sUAS rating for a period of up to 1 year after the date of that refusal; or
(b) Suspension or revocation of a remote pilot certificate with a sUAS rating.
Subject to the provisions of §§ 107.57 and 107.59, in order to be eligible for a remote pilot certificate with a sUAS rating under this subpart, a person must:
(a) Be at least 16 years of age;
(b) Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. If the applicant is unable to meet one of these requirements due to medical reasons, the FAA may place such operating limitations on that applicant’s certificate as are necessary for the safe operation of the sUA;
(c) Not know or have reason to know that he or she has a physical or mental condition that would interfere with the safe operation of a sUAS; and
(d) Demonstrate aeronautical knowledge by satisfying one of the following conditions, in a manner acceptable to the Administrator:
(1) Pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test covering the areas of knowledge specified in §107.73; or
(2) If a person holds a pilot certificate (other than a student pilot certificate) issued under part 61 of this chapter and meets the flight review requirements specified in §61.56, complete training covering the areas of knowledge specified in §107.74.
A person may not exercise the privileges of a remote PIC with sUAS rating unless that person has accomplished one of the following in a manner acceptable to the Administrator within the previous 24 calendar months:
(a) Passed an initial aeronautical knowledge test covering the areas of knowledge specified in §107.73;
(b) Completed recurrent training covering the areas of knowledge specified in §107.73; or
(c) If a person holds a pilot certificate (other than a student pilot certificate) issued under part 61 of this chapter and meets the flight review requirements specified in §61.56, completed training covering the areas of knowledge specified in §107.74.
(d) A person who has passed a recurrent aeronautical knowledge test in a manner acceptable to the Administrator or who has satisfied the training requirement of paragraph (c) of this section prior to March 1, 2021 within the previous 24 calendar months is considered to be in compliance with the requirement of paragraph (b) or (c) of this section, as applicable.
(a) The Administrator may issue a certificate of waiver authorizing a deviation from any regulation specified in §107.205 if the Administrator finds that a proposed sUAS operation can safely be conducted under the terms of that certificate of waiver.
(b) A request for a certificate of waiver must contain a complete description of the proposed operation and justification that establishes that the operation can safely be conducted under the terms of a certificate of waiver.
(c) The Administrator may prescribe additional limitations that the Administrator considers necessary.
(d) A person who receives a certificate of waiver issued under this section:
(1) May deviate from the regulations of this part to the extent specified in the certificate of waiver; and
(2) Must comply with any conditions or limitations that are specified in the certificate of waiver.
A certificate of waiver issued pursuant to §107.200 may authorize a deviation from the following regulations of this part:
(a) Section 107.25—Operation from a moving vehicle or aircraft. However, no waiver of this provision will be issued to allow the carriage of property of another by aircraft for compensation or hire.
(b) Section 107.29(a)(2) and (b)—Anti-collision light required for operations at night and during periods of civil twilight.
(c) Section 107.31—Visual line of sight aircraft operation. However, no waiver of this provision will be issued to allow the carriage of property of another by aircraft for compensation or hire.
(d) Section 107.33—Visual observer.
(e) Section 107.35—Operation of multiple sUAS.
(f) Section 107.37(a)—Yielding the right of way.
(g) Section 107.39—Operation over people.
(h) Section 107.41—Operation in certain airspace.
(i) Section 107.51—Operating limitations for sUA.
(j) Section 107.145—Operations over moving vehicles.
5.20 Certificate of Waiver. Part 107 includes the option to apply for a CoW. This CoW will allow a sUAS operation to deviate from certain provisions of part 107 if the Administrator finds that the proposed operation can be safely conducted under the terms of that CoW (§ 107.200). A list of the sections of part 107 subject to waiver are listed below:
- Section 107.25: Operation from a moving vehicle or aircraft.
- Section 107.29(a)(2) and (b): Anti-collision light required for operations at night and during periods of civil twilight.
- Section 107.31: Visual line of sight aircraft operation. However, no waiver of this provision will be issued to allow the carriage of property of another by aircraft for compensation or hire.
- Section 107.33: Visual observer.
- Section 107.35: Operation of multiple sUAS.
- Section 107.37(a): Yielding the right-of-way.
- Section 107.39: Operation over people.
- Section 107.41: Operation in certain airspace.
- Section 107.51: Operating limitations for sUA.
- Section 107.145: Operations over moving vehicles.
5.20.1 Applying for a CoW. A CoW can be requested by following the instructions and submitting an application at https://www.faa.gov/uas/.
5.20.2 Application Process. The application must contain a complete description of the proposed operation and a justification, including supporting data and documentation (as necessary), that establishes the proposed operation can safely be conducted under the terms of a CoW. A complete listing of Waiver Safety Explanation Guidelines is posted to the FAA’s website to assist waiver applicants in preparing their proposals and justifications for applications for waiver. They can be found at https://www.faa.gov/uas/commercial_opera tors/part_107_waivers/waiver_safety_explanation_guidelines/. Although not required by part 107, the FAA encourages waiver applicants to submit their application at least 60 days prior to the start of the proposed operation. The FAA will strive to complete review and adjudication of waivers within 60 days; however, the time required for the FAA to make a determination regarding waiver requests will vary based on the complexity of the request. The amount of data and analysis required as part of the application will be proportional to the specific relief that is requested. For example, a request to waive several sections of part 107 for an operation that takes place in a congested metropolitan area with heavy air traffic will likely require significantly more data and analyses than a request to waive a single section for an operation that takes place in a sparsely-populated area with minimal air traffic. If a CoW is granted, that certificate may include specific special provisions designed to ensure the sUAS operation may be conducted as safely as one conducted under the provisions of part 107. A listing of standard special provisions for part 107 waivers is available on the FAA’s website at https://www.faa.gov/uas/.
5.21 Supplemental Operational Information. Appendix B, Supplemental Operational Information, contains expanded information regarding operational topics that should be considered prior to operations.
• Applicants may submit the completed application using FAA Form 7711-2 to
9-AFS-800-Part107Waivers@faa.gov. General Aviation and Commercial Division administrative staff will enter the information from the application and open a PTRS record.
• The assigned General Aviation and Commercial Division individual will process the application and recommend approval/disapproval, or send a request for additional information (RFI) to the applicant.
• CoWs (FAA Form 7711-1) or disapproval letters will be signed by General Aviation and Commercial Division management or their designated representative.
• Approved CoWs (FAA Form 7711-1) will be posted to the public website athttps://www.faa.gov/uas/request_waiver/waivers_granted. The public website will be updated upon completion of the approval or disapproval process.
• The Enhanced Flight Standards Automation System (eFSAS) will be updated and the PTRS record will be closed. The completed FAA Form 7711-1, CoW, or disapproval letter will be emailed to the applicant and a copy will be retained by the General Aviation and Commercial Division.
• Advisory Circular (AC) 120-92, Safety Management Systems for Aviation Service Providers.
• FAA Order VS 8000.367, Aviation Safety (AVS) Safety Management System Requirements.
• FAA Order 8000.368, Flight Standards Service Oversight.light Standards Service Oversight.
• FAA Order 8000.369, Safety Management System.
• FAA Order VS 8000.370, Aviation Safety (AVS) Safety Policy.
• FAA Order 8040.4, Safety Risk Management Policy.
NOTE: Risk mitigations that depend on the establishment of new types and categories of airspace are extremely difficult and time consuming. The NAS is established and configured through a rigorous regulatory process. Risk mitigations that result in the prohibition of the public’s right to transit airspace will require a very long lead time with no guarantee that they will be approved.
• Determining the UA’s proximity to all aviation activities and other hazards (e.g., terrain, weather, and structures);
• Exercising effective control of the UA;
• Preventing the UA from creating a collision hazard.
NOTE: Normal vision may include use of corrective lenses, spectacles, and contact lenses as necessary.
NOTE: UAS operating in airspace designated as Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) airspace must comply with § 91.180. The following guidance does not apply to part 107 operations. UAS operating under part 107 must comply with § 107.41 operation in certain airspace.
An application for a Certificate of Waiver, issued in accordance with 14 CFR § 107.200, must provide justification that the operation can be safely conducted by satisfying the performance-based standards listed.
The FAA may approve your application for a waiver of provisions in part 107 only when it has been determined that the proposed operation:
When requesting a waiver, the required documents should be presented to the FAA at least how many calendar days prior to the planned operation?
In accordance with Section 352 of the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act, the FAA has published a representative sample of the safety justifications for sUAS waivers and airspace authorizations. Here are the samples below:
107.41 Authorization or Waiver?
What is airspace authorization, and how is it different from a 107.41 airspace waiver?
When applying for airspace authorization. “Use this to request access to controlled airspace. An airspace authorization is the mechanism by which an operator may seek ATC approval to operate in controlled airspace. Authorizations can be for a specific location or for broad areas governed by a single ATC jurisdiction.”
When applying for an airspace waiver. Use this to request a waiver from 14 C.F.R. 107.41. Airspace Waivers may be issued where the applicant can demonstrate safety mitigations through equipage, technology and or operational parameters that their UAS can safely operate in controlled airspace without seeking ATC authorization prior to each operation. Processing times for airspace waivers are significantly longer than processing times for airspace authorizations.
The terms “waiver” and “airspace authorization” are often used in the same sentence, and it can seem like they are the exact same thing.
Requesting airspace authorization means that you are asking to operate/fly in controlled airspace, or for drone pilots, Class B, C, D, or E:
Class B airspace is generally airspace from the surface to 10,000 feet MSL surrounding the nation’s busiest airports in terms of airport operations or passenger enplanements. You can think of the “B” in Class B airspace as standing for “big city” airports.
Class C airspace is generally airspace from the surface to 4,000 feet AGL (charted in MSL) surrounding those airports that have an operational control tower, are serviced by a radar approach control, and have a certain number of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations or passenger enplanements. You can think of the “C” in Class C airspace as standing for “cities.” So not the big cities of Class B airspace, but still sizable city airports.
Class D airspace is generally airspace from the surface to 2,500 feet AGL (charted in MSL) surrounding those airports that have an operational control tower. Small city airports with control towers are usually designated as Class D airspace. You can associate the “D” in Class D airspace with “diminutive” or “dime-sized.”
Class E airspace almost always has one of four lower limits: the surface, 700 feet AGL, 1,200 feet AGL or, in some sparsely populated areas, 14,500 feet MSL. Most of the country has a Class E airspace lower limit of 700 feet AGL and/or 1,200 feet AGL. The upper limit of Class E airspace is up to but not including 18,000 feet MSL, or when Class E airspace runs into the upside-down wedding cake airspace of Class B or Class C. For a drone pilot, if you’d like to operate in Class E airspace, you’ll need to get permission.
Set up an account with FAADroneZone
Navigate to the Part 107 Waivers & Authorizations section, and click the button that says, Create Part 107 Waiver/Authorization.
Select Airspace Authorization
Select Operation Title – you need a primary title for your intended operation. Be clear and specific, so something like: Ongoing Residential Roof Inspections in BNA Class C Airspace
Select Responsible Party – the Responsible Party is not required to hold a Remote Pilot Certificate and can be the representative of an organization.
The Responsible Party you put down is accountable for a list of responsibilities, which include maintaining records demonstrating compliance with FAA requirements; being accessible by the ATC; and maintaining a list of pilots and make / model of all aircraft involved in the operation. See the full list of responsibilities on pages 1 and 2 of FAA Waiver Application Instructions
Select Operation Parameters - Pay attention to all the form field instructions, like Dates cannot be in the past or exceed 24 months from today’s date.
When it comes to your Proposed Location of Operation, the more specific you can be here, the better. Provide city, state, and specific identifying characteristics, including landmarks.
Here is an example:
Project center point is intersection of ______________. Nearest street address is ______________. We intend to fly over the ______________ to capture photos and video for construction progress monitoring of the road/rail separation project. Flight will focus on bridge construction near this project center point as well as the railroad tracks affected by this project.
Use the Latitude and Longitude fields to identify the center point of your mission. The center point does not necessarily have to be where you are starting your mission, since factors such as weather and terrain may make starting in the center of your proposed area of operation impractical.
If you need help converting latitude and longitude decimal measurements for a particular location to the degrees, minutes, and seconds format needed in this application, you can use a conversion tool
Best practice is to use the center of the airport as the GPS location and to request Blanket Area / Wide Area authorization for that airport’s entire controlled airspace. This is the clearest way to request the most amount of airspace around an airport possible.
Description of Your Proposed Operation - it is important to note that the instructions for this open form field ask not just for a description, but also for “Purpose of operation and method by which the proposed operation can be safely conducted.”
Here is an example of a Class D airspace authorization.
Sarah Nilsson, J.D., Ph.D., MAS
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