Top 6 things about Drones and Airspace

Updated: Nov 16, 2019

1. What if I'm just flying my drone for fun?

~ The FAA says if your drone is > 0.55 lbs it should be registered with them

~ If you are flying your registered drone, you should be checking to see if it's safe to fly!

~ Safety is #1! The reason we ask for clearance to fly our drones in Controlled or Restricted Airspace is because there will probably be manned aircraft flying there, possibly at low altitudes, and we don't want to fly into each other!

2. Where can you fly?

~ There are two major categories of Airspace: Controlled and Uncontrolled

~ 99% of the time, as a drone pilot you will be flying in Uncontrolled Airspace

~ It's that 1% of the time, when you want to fly in Controlled Airspace (or even Restricted Airspace) that you need to be concerned about.

3. How to find out what Airspace is Controlled (or possibly Restricted).

~ The FAA has made this a fairly easy process.

~ B4UFly is a free app offered by the FAA. You can download it and find out with the drop of a pin on the map if you can fly your drone without authorization = Uncontrolled Airspace.

~ You may also want to check or before you leave home. Search for NOTAM, otherwise known as a no fly notice, that may not show up in B4UFly.

4. What do you do if you need authorization?

~ If you need authorization, the FAA has partnered with Kittyhawk so you can request the FAA's Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC).

~ Generally this authorization comes within a few minutes or the B4UFly app gives you specific information regarding your ability to fly in certain areas.

~ Most Airspace that requires a UAS operator to request authorization is within 5 miles of an airport.

5. What if you're close to a Military Base?

~ The Airspace around Military Bases is more restrictive.

~ B4UFly will give you the flying restrictions about flying around the Military Base. We found that the Military Base here in Omaha will not take LAANC requests through B4UFly.

~ You must do your research before flying near a Military Base! The process to fly near the base is different than an airport, you must get authorization directly from the Military Base.

6. Are there other areas I'm not allowed to fly in?

~ Yes.

~ These areas will show up in B4UFly or Skyvector as warning or restricted areas and you will be notified that you cannot fly there.

**Disclosures: this blog is my adaptation of information I've read and been taught while studying for the part 107 exam. It is by no means comprehensive. It is meant to be a quick answer guide to safety before flying and reference to FAA regulations. For more information please refer to links to FAA website.

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