Recent changes to aviation rules in the United States require all flights in Controlled Airspace to obtain prior authorization from the FAA. Missions are commonly flown either recreationally under Part 101e, commonly referred to as "Fly for Fun rules," or under Part 107 if the pilot has a valid Part 107 drone pilot certificate. Authorization is required in both cases for operations taking place in Controlled Airspace.
Fly for Fun: Part 101e
The law pertaining to recreational operations has changed as of Oct 5th, 2018 with the signing of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. Sec. 349 subsection (a) states that all recreational operations within Class B, C, D and the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace require prior authorization.
How do I get authorization as a Fly for Fun Pilot?
The FAA is currently developing a framework to provide recreational authorizations and has committed to provide further guidance. For more information, see https://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=91844
How is this shown on AirMap?
To help you fly in accordance with the rules, the Fly for Fun airspace layers on AirMap have been updated to display "Class B, C, D and E airspace" as defined in the legislation referenced above. These airspace layers will no longer be displayed as 5 mile rings around airports and will now be shown as the controlled airspace layers as shown below:
Previous Fly for Fun Rules: Current Fly for Fun Rules:
Part 107 Operators
Operators flying with part 107 remote pilot certificates are also required to obtain authorization before operating in controlled airspace. These operators are able to request authorization to fly in controlled airspace using AirMap.* Please see our FAQ to learn how to use AirMap to obtain FAA LAANC manual or automated authorization to fly in controlled airspace. For a complete breakdown the part 107 rule, please see https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started/part_107/.
*Digital authorization available at over 475 U.S. airports. Where LAANC is not enabled, part 107 remote pilots must follow standard procedures for requesting a waiver.