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Rules & Regulations

Part 107 Waiver and Authorization Process Has Changed

What's the difference between a waiver and authorization, anyway?

July 7, 2017

The FAA separated Part 107 airspace requests from all other waivers.
The FAA changed the Part 107 waiver and authorization submission process earlier this week, splitting the process into two separate request forms. The new division helps to clarify the different types of permissions available to commercial operators.

Airspace authorizations and waivers are now a completely separate request from the rest of Part 107 requests. If you want to apply to fly in controlled airspace, you must complete a separate form from the rest of your waiver requests. The form is here, but check out this instruction guide first.

Do keep in mind: You will still have the option to receive an airspace waiver or authorization. If you want to fly in classified airspace for less than six months, apply for airspace authorization. If you want to fly for six months to two years, apply for airspace waiver. Need both? Then you must submit separate requests.

And be sure to give yourself more time if submitting for those long-term airspace waivers. According to the FAA website, “Airspace waivers require significant mitigations and may require a longer period of time for processing.”

The FAA aims to complete waiver and authorization requests within 90 days. In order to further help speed up your request, the FAA released UAS facility maps. Each map depicts areas and altitudes where drones can operate, but if the altitude you want to fly exceeds the altitudes listed, then you will need to submit an airspace authorization request to the FAA.

Looking to apply for waivers for other Part 107 regulations? You can do that right here.

But don’t get too comfortable with this process ― just last week, the FAA announced its plan to automate authorizations, which will be tested later this year and is expected to be implemented in 2018.  The FAA teamed up with AirMap and others in the drone industry to automate the process through the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC). Learn more here.
Featured image: FAA