When covering breaking news, drone journalists cannot afford to wait 90 days to receive an airspace authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). They can’t afford to wait one day or even one hour. Drone journalists need to be able to quickly launch their UAV, instantly receive authorization, and provide the best possible coverage for their audience. Well, drone journalists rejoice because the FAA plans on providing instant authorization for one of its Part 107 restrictions.
Rule 107.41 of the FAA Part 107 restricts drone pilots from flying near airports/in controlled airspaces. This rule is amongst a heavily waiver requested list including flying at night (107.29), flying over people (107.39), and flying beyond visible line of sight (107.31). Each of these restrictions affects the way drone journalists do their jobs, but the good news is – the FAA stated that this year it will begin offering instant airspace authorization for drone flights in controlled airspace.
This new advancement will be called Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) and will be available in 50 select cities by the end of the year. The entire list of cities can be found below. Drone pilots will be able to apply for digital authorization using mobile device applications they already use for flight planning.
Co-founder of the unmanned traffic management (UTM) application AirMap, Gregory McNeal, wrote in a recent article how the process would work:
“the FAA has identified areas of controlled airspace where drone flights can be pre-approved up to a specific, safe altitude. They’ve provided that raw data to AirMap and the other LAANC partners to be translated into a dynamic, digital map. Using tools like AirMap’s mobile app, drone operators will enter the details of their flight with just a few taps, and in areas where flights are pre-approved, receive instant authorization to fly.”
McNeal’s entire article could be read here.
Unfortunately, for now, drone pilots will still have to go through the normal FAA waiver process for the other restrictions. But instant authorization near airports and in controlled airspaces is a huge step forward and massive benefit for drone journalists.
Fortunately, DARTdrones new drone journalism workshop will educate drone journalist on obtaining proper waivers and flying drones safely under FAA restrictions. The workshop is designed to train drone journalists to safely incorporate unmanned aerial vehicles into their news-telling tools. The class focuses on Go/No-Go Decision Making, media scenario flying, and applying for FAA waivers and authorizations that are commonly required for broadcasting.
“What I see as the most important topic for new drone journalists is fully understanding Go/No-Go Decision Making,” said CEO and Cofounder of DARTdrones, Abby Speicher. “Every drone flight has different risks and with journalism, you often only have one chance to get the shot. I see our new Drone Journalism Workshop as a specialized way to fully inform journalists about the capabilities of drones and more importantly, knowing when not to fly.”
|B||CVG||Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport|
|B||MIA||Miami International Airport|
|B||PHX||Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport|
|C||ANC||Anchorage International Airport|
|C||GRB||Green Bay- Austin Straubel Int’l Airport|
|C||RNO||Reno- Tahoe International Airport|
|C||SJC||San Jose International Airport|
|D||LHD||Lake Hood Seaplane Base|
|E||ABR||Aberdeen Regional Airport|
|E||AMW||Ames Municipal Airport|
|E||ATY||Watertown Regional Airport|
|E||AXN||Alexandria Municipal Airport|
|E||BJI||Bemìdji Regional Airport|
|E||BKX||Brookings Regional Airport|
|E||BRD||Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport|
|E||CIU||Chippewa County International Airport|
|E||CMX||Houghton County Memorial Airport|
|E||DVL||Devils Lake Regional Airport|
|E||EAR||Kearney Regional Airport|
|E||ELO||Ely Municipal Airport|
|E||ESC||Delta County Airport|
|E||FFM||Fergus Falls Municipal Airport|
|E||FOD||Fort Dodge Regional Airport|
|E||FRM||Fairmont Municipal Airport|
|E||HIB||Range Regional Airport|
|E||HON||Huron Regional Airport|
|E||HSI||Hastings Municipal Airport|
|E||IKV||Ankeny Regional Airport|
|E||INL||Falls International Airport|
|E||IWD||Gogebic- Iron County Airport|
|E||JMS||Jamestown Regional Airport|
|E||MCW||Mason City Municipal Airport|
|E||MHE||Mitchell Municipal Airport|
|E||MKT||Mankato Regional Airport|
|E||OFK||Norfolk Regional Airport|
|E||OSC||Wurtsmith Air Force Base|
|E||OTG||Worthington Municipal Airport|
|E||PIR||Pierre Regional Airport|
|E||PLN||Pellston Regional Airport|
|E||RHI||Rhinelander- Oneida County Airport|
|E||RWF||Redwood Falls Municipal|
|E||SLB||Storm Lake Airport|
|E||SPW||Spencer Municipal Airport|
|E||TVF||Thief River Falls Regional Airport|
|E||YKN||Chan Gurney Airport|
Learn more about our workshops!
We offer courses on getting Part 107 certified, launching a drone program, getting drone flight training and much more. Visit www.dartdrones.com or call us at 800-264-3907 to learn more about our industry specific drone workshops!