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Part 107 and NYC

posted Sep 21, 2016, 6:41 AM by George Finlay

The new FAA rules for small drone operations have made commercial drone flights in NYC easier, but as you would expect there are still requirements to be met.

The day after the rules took place on Monday August 29, we were able to shoot test shots for a TV job on Governors Island in NYC without a COA, without filing NOTAMs, and without a permit from OFTB. The entire island is within 2 Nautical miles (nm) of Downtown Manhattan Heliport (KJRB). Under our Section 333 exemption we had applied for a COA to allow us to fly within 2 nm of KJRB, and been denied.

Of course we were in close touch with the Trust for Governors Island, but all they required was a COI and our agreement not to fly over the two national monuments on the island, Castle Williams and Fort Jay. The Trust charged us nothing, though they noted that there is a charge of $10,000 per day when the island is closed to the public.

A week later, the live shoot came off without a hitch.

A few days ago we were asked if we could shoot a construction project on 32nd Street in Manhattan. Checking the map, I found that all of 32nd Street is within 6 nm of LaGuardia (KLGA) and therefore requires NY Class B authorization. Once I know the exact location, I will apply for authorization. Our FAA contact recommends asking for no more lateral area and no more altitude than we really need for the job. He says this will improve our chances of approval since each ATC facility is developing a grid of their airspace to describe where they will permit drone operations. Asking for as small a volume as possible reduces the chances of "nicking" nearby grid areas with tighter restrictions.

Just yesterday, we were asked to shoot a group shot at a party on Roosevelt Island. That would have been this evening, had it not been for the fact that the VIP TFR is in effect for the opening of the UN General Assembly, and for the fact that all of Roosevelt Island is within 6 nm of LaGuardia, and for the fact that the organization that manages the island, Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, requires permits for photo shoots.