What is a waiver?

  • A waiver is when you obtain permission to not have to follow one of the rules of Part 107

  • You wold apply for a waiver if you are knowingly needing to do one of the following (which are all prohibited under part 107):

    • Operating at night

    • Operating from a moving vehicle

    • Operating beyond visual line of sight

    • Operating over people

    • Operating multiple UAVs as one pilot

    • Operating near other aircraft

    • Operating a UAV at speeds higher than 87 knots (100 mph)

    • Operating a UAV at an altitude higher than 400’ AGL

    • Operating a UAV when visibility is less than 3 statute miles

    • Operating a UAV less than 500 feet below the lowest cloud layer or 2000 feet horizontally

    • Operating a UAV in controlled airspace WITHOUT having to obtain permission first

What is the difference between a waiver and an authorization?

  • A waiver asks to break a part 107 rule/regulation

  • An authorization is solely, permission to fly in controlled airspace at or below 400’ AGL

How do i submit a request for a waiver?

  • If you are a commercial UAV operator, you should already have an account at https://faadronezone.faa.gov where you registered your UAV. Log in to this account.

  • Once we are in, you will want to click on "Dashboard" next to "Fly sUAS under part 107".

  • Next, locate the button for “Create Part 107 Waiver/Authorization”.

  • Next you will be prompted to select what you are applying for. Below are the 3 options, you will want to click the 1st or 3rd option depending on your specific waiver.

  • Follow the instructions to complete the waiver after hitting “start application”.

what are the chances my waiver gets approved?

You most likely will never need to file a waiver, as drone mapping missions generally all fall easily into the rules and regulations of Part 107. However, if you do find yourself needing to file for a waiver, they can be tricky to get approved. Key in getting waivers approved is proving without doubt that you are able to compensate for the increased risks involved in your operation now that you are planning to break one of the regulations under part 107.

The FAA has a series of webinars that go into detail on exactly how to construct your waiver requests and plan your missions in order to increase the likelihood of your waiver being granted. The webinar series covers almost everything you need to know when filing a for a waiver, and can be found here.