Know the difference between a UAV waiver and an airspace authorization!

GEO Jobe UAV has come across several instances of confusion around FAA Part 107 UAV regulations, restrictions and requirements. This is not a legal opinion by any stretch of the imagination. Rather, it is a licensed pilot’s explanation and understanding of several areas of the Part 107 regulations and how they apply to commercial UAV pilots and UAV operations.

There is a difference between a UAV waiver and an airspace authorization.

A waiver is needed when a UAV operation needs one or several of the UAV restrictions eased or suspended in a particular instance. For example, you want to fly a UAV operation at night, or over people. In these situations, the part 107 pilot is required to seek a waiver of those rules for the specific operation.

An airspace authorization is needed when a UAV operation calls for flights close to an airport and within its restricted airspace. These kinds of operations require the part 107 pilot to secure airspace authorizations prior to flying. Although, the FAA has simplified the process for receiving these authorizations. The FAA has implemented and continues to enhance an online pre-authorization system called the Low Altitude Authorization Notification Capability (LAANC).

Visualize it: FAA UAS Data on the MapVisualize it: FAA UAS Data on the Map – Source: FAA

This system (see map above) identifies areas that have pre-approved flight altitudes near controlled airspaces across the country.

GEO Jobe UAV has been approached about using an authorization that we have received for one airport at other locations, which the FAA does not permit. Authorizations are for a specific location, time, and purpose. You cannot use an authorization for collecting marketing videos at the Gulfport, MS airport for topo mapping near the Nashville Airport. Furthermore, GEO Jobe UAV cannot transfer the authorization to fly for marketing videos at Gulfport to another part 107 pilot.

There’s a demand for airspace authorizations for UAV operations across the country. Fortunately, many areas have pre-approved authorizations that can be found in the LAANC.

Get your drones up safe and legal!

GEO Jobe UAV Mapping Services has beaten the odds to receive the hard to come by FAA airspace authorization for UAV missions on designated Airport lands. For more information about GEO Jobe’s  UAV services, including sample projects, images and videos visit our UAV webpage or find us on Instagram @geojobeuav

geo jobe UAV services


Jeff Lawrence is charged with Business Development for GEO Jobe’s UAV Service Group. You can connect with Jeff on Twitter (@jalaw3 & @geojobeuav) or on LinkedIn

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