UAS Beyond the Basics (Part 2)
How to Apply for a Waiver
Determine what you need. Decide what kind of waiver you need. Request a waiver for ONLY what you need to fly your mission.
Log into the FAA’s Drone Zone. Create an account, or log into your existing account. Select “Fly a UAS Under Part 107”.* Submit your application, including all supporting documents and attachments through your FAA Drone Zone account. Select the “Operational Waiver” option.
*Note: You do not need to register a drone to request a waiver. When prompted to input Make/Model information for your drone, simply keep selecting “Next” to bypass the payment forms.
The FAA will do their best to Review and Approve or Disapprove Waiver Requests within 90 days of submission. Processing times will vary based on the complexity of your request and the completeness of your initial application. If there is additional information to complete the review, you will be contacted via your Drone Zone account. You will receive a Drone Zone status change email and will need to log into your account to view and respond to the information request. Requests will include questions to answer, instructions for responding, and a time limit for response. If you no not respond to an information request within the time limit, your application will be cancelled and you will have to resubmit.
*Visit the Emergency Operations page to learn more about expedited approvals for first responders and other organizations responding to natural disasters or other emergencies. http://www.faa.gov/uas/advanced_operations/emergency_situations/
Visit the UAS Facility Maps page www.faa.gov/commercial_operators/uas_facility_maps/ to see the maximum altitude authorized to fly your Part 107 when near an airport. You still MUST get approval from the FAA.
*Note: These maps DO NOT authorize operations in these areas at the depicted altitudes; they are for informational purposes ONLY!
Documents and Webinars
Here are some Document and Webinar Links to help you learn about the waiver process and how to fill out the Waiver Applications.
Waiver Application Instructions
Waiver Safety Explanation Guidelines
Sample Safety Justification for Small-unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or Drone Waivers
- “Where’s My Waiver”-the waiver process
- “Just the Facts”-how to fill out the waiver application form
- “Risky Business”-how to do risk assessments for successful waiver applications
Flying Drones near Airports (Controlled Airspace) Part 107
Under Part 107, Drone Pilots planning to fly in controlled airspace must get permission from the FAA. You can submit requests for authorization to fly in controlled airspace near airports via these two systems:
- Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC)
- Drone Zone
LAANC automates the application approval process for airspace authorizations. Through applications developed by the FAAA approved UAS Service Suppliers (USS) of LAANC, Drone Pilots can request an airspace authorization to fly in controlled airspace around airports.
When Drone Pilots submit a request through a LAANC USS, the request is checked against multiple airspace data sources in the FAA UAS Data Exchange. If approved, Pilots receive their authorization in near-real time. LAANC also provides FAA’s Air Traffic visibility into where and when planned drone operations will take place.
LAANC is available at nearly 300 Air Traffic facilities covering approx. 500 airports.
LAANC only accepts airspace authorization requests that are fully compliant with Part 107. Airspace authorizations granted through LAANC are valid for twelve hours. LAANC authorizations cannot be combined with Part 107 waivers. For example, if you get permission to fly in Class D airspace through LAANC and you already have a waiver to fly at night, you may NOT combine the permissions to fly in Class D airspace at night. In order to fly in controlled airspace using your waiver, you must submit a request for an airspace authorization via the Drone Zone.
Click the link below to see where drones are allowed to fly with and without permissions.
Article last updated November 2019