In prior blog posts, you’ve read us talking about the importance of obeying the rules of each class of airspace that you are operating in. In the area of New Hampshire where we operate the most, we have to frequently work within the Class Charlie (Class C) airspace that surrounds Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (see sectional map, below). What so many drone operators who don’t actually have commercial certification and/or training don’t realize is that it is against FAA regulations to operate within that airspace without prior Air Traffic Control (ATC) authorization. This is for a variety of reasons not the least of which is the safety of manned aircraft flying into and out of the airport.
Fortunately, the FAA has put in place a system where commercial operators can, after an application and review process by local ATC, receive a Wide Area Authorization (WAA) for the airspace they wish to fly in. This WAA opens up the airspace within a defined set of limitations so that the commercial operator can fly missions for their clients while still being in compliance with regulations. The process takes about 90-100 days right now due to the volume of requests being processed by the FAA but an automated system known as Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (or LAANC) will go live in the Northeast Region sometime in August 2018. This automated system will ease the burden of receiving ATC authorization once it is implemented.
However, in the meantime, 603 Drones, LLC is pleased to be one of the few commercially operating companies based locally to have this authorization. It allows us to provide services to our clients safely, legally, and professionally. When working with an unmanned aerial imaging provider, remember to ask about ALL their compliance processes and procedures. If in doubt, feel free to give us a call!
Jeremy Jones is the founder of 603 Media Group and 603 Drones, LLC. He is a FAA Part 107 pilot and has experience flying multiple Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) platforms in commercial applications. He is also versed in both state and federal regulations as they relate to commercial vs hobbyist sUAS operations and helps new remote pilots to navigate these very tricky subjects.