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How to get approved for drone flights within 5 miles of an airport

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Hobbyists

To get clearance to fly within five miles of an airport as a hobbyist, or someone who flies for fun, all you have to do is call the local airport and ask. Look up the airport’s number on a search engine like Google, or you can go on a website called Know Before You Fly to get a list of relevant contact numbers based on your location. Once you get through to the control tower, just ask for permission to fly, and make sure to include your plan like flight time and altitude. You can also use Billy Kyle’s recorded phone call as a reference.

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Professionals with a commercial drone license

If you’re looking to fly under your part 107 for business purposes, you’ll have to submit an online waiver with the FAA. First click on Part 107 “Dashboard,” then click “Create Part 107 Waiver/Authorization” and select the middle option that says “Airspace Authorization.” After filling and submitting the form, wait until it gets approved. The turnaround time can take up to 90 days, according to Billy Kyle.

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Up to 90 days!

As Billy Kyle mentions in his video, the approval process for a drone flight near an airport is somewhat backwards. People who spend the time and money to earn a commercial drone license should be prioritized to fly, but it seems like hobbyists can just make a call and get approved within minutes.

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Since it can take longer for professional drone pilots to get flight approval near airports, the FAA recommends submitting a waiver 90 days in advance. If you’re a hobbyist looking to fly near an airport, you might as well play it safe and contact the local control tower, especially since it only takes one quick phone call to get approved.

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