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The FAA Gave the First Ever Go-Ahead For a Drone To Fly at an Airport ( 44

It's not legal to fly your drone anywhere near an airport -- at least not without a special waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration. From a report: For the first time under the FAA's commercial drone rules, the agency granted permission to operate a drone at an airport. Seven flights were conducted by Berkeley, Calif.-based 3D Robotics on Jan. 10 at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, the busiest airport in the world. Restrictions on flying drones near airports have to do with safety. Not only can drones collide with planes, but seeing one can also distract a pilot. The 3D Robotics drone was given permission to collect data on two four-story parking structures at the airport that a construction firm was hired to demolish.
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The FAA Gave the First Ever Go-Ahead For a Drone To Fly at an Airport

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  • by ClayJar ( 126217 ) on Thursday February 02, 2017 @01:29PM (#53788931) Homepage

    The subheading in the linked article ("It's the first waiver granted for flight in Class B airspace since the FAA came up with commercial drone rules.") makes sense, but the summary, title, and article are a bit wonky.

    It's been perfectly legal for a certified commercial Remote Pilot to fly at an airport since Part 103 went into effect, but only in Class G airspace. Small airports with Class E Surface or Class D airspace would require a waiver, and waivers have been had for those for a while now. Larger airports with Class C airspace took longer before the FAA began processing (and approving) waivers, but there had not been any waivers of Class B airspace. This is the first.

    Of course, you can only get a waiver under Part 103, so if you're a hobby pilot, the five-mile rule is in effect. For Part 103 Remote Pilots, on the other hand, it's all about airspace. (Most of the FAA Knowledge Exam is airspace and weather.)

    • by E-Lad ( 1262 )

      Yeah, agree. The general public isn't going to grok airspace classification or the 3D aspects of them (surface to 10k?, 500' to 10k? what???) A lot of drone operators (and that means everyone with one) got a very abrupt introduction to nomenclature, rules, and concepts that we pilots are familiar with, and part of me wonders just how many shirk their need to learn these things because they just don't take them seriously.

      • . . . part of me wonders just how many shirk their need to learn these things because they just don't take them seriously.

        Isn't that the Über model? If you don't like the regulations, just ignore them.

        • by WarJolt ( 990309 )

          Yeah, it helps to be blindly ignorant of FAA regulations and spread misinformation. Like part 107 (not 103) allows drone use in class b,c and d airspace with ATC approval.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      When I was in college, I got a B in airspace class too

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Not exactly sure why this is news anyway... it's like "What can you do on a public street?" vs "What can you do on a public street if you're a major Hollywood production that has applied for all the right permits?" and the answer to the latter is pretty much everything. If you have a legitimate reason and you're willing to go through all the paperwork you're probably not the problem. Particularly not if you have professional stuntmen and a huge liability insurance, then you can probably get special permits

      • Case in point:
        Ken Block's Gymkhana V in SF. (still my Fav).

        I sooooo wish I knew when they were filming there, I would have made the trip to go watch.

  • This is literally insane, the FTA just did hacking tests on commercial drones (it's in a mil gov newsletter) and successfully hacked all of them.

    Not safe.

    Not wise.

    In sane.

    • by ASDFnz ( 472824 )

      You are a wowser, believe it or not, drones will not be the end of the world and they don't present a significant risk to air traffic.

  • [...] but seeing one can also distract a pilot

    So can iPads apparently...

  • How is a drone more distracting to pilots than any other small aircraft, helicopter or ultralight???

    • Re:Calm down... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ASDFnz ( 472824 ) on Thursday February 02, 2017 @05:58PM (#53790923)

      Or birds.

      These drone regulations are quite literally the return of the Luddites. They are far less dangerous than just about any other hazard to aerial navigation but I think the regulators just get a thrill out of regulations these days and if there is anything new they immediately start to think of ways to regulate it.

      The wowser attitude of the general public doesn't help, people seem to think that recreational/imaging drones kill people on a daily basis or something.

    • Any of those operating in class-B airspace are required to be in communication with and complying with ATC instructions. If I want to fly over Newark Airport, which I've done, I have to follow the rules - and they're quite precise. (They want you to fly directly over the runway numbers, since the only place at an airport where's no planes is directly above the runway.)

      You need explicit clearance to enter class-B airspace and usually a transponder code so they can track you specifically. If you deviate from

  • it seems to be easier. Here is a video Drone Flies into World's Largest Plane Antonov 225 Mriya []

That does not compute.