Drone Laws Blog by Antonelli Law
We receive many contacts inquiring about our help filing a FAA Part 107 waiver petition for drones. The two most elusive ones in the marketplace are Part 107.31 Beyond Visual Line of Sight, and Part 107.39 Operations Over People. They are the most difficult to obtain, and the most costly to attempt.
The most common request is for “Night Waivers”, perhaps because Antonelli Law clients were some of the very first in the country to obtain them.
The Two Most Commonly Asked Part 107 Waiver Questions Are:
- How likely is the FAA going to grant approval?
- How much will it cost for you to help me obtain it?
Since we receive these questions so commonly, I thought it helpful to give the following estimates of our cost for obtaining assistance in drafting and submitting the waiver(s).
There are many varieties of drone operations, and many unpredictable changes in FAA policy with regard to requirements for Part 107 waivers, we simply cannot give firm prices on the internet. However, many companies need ballpark pricing so they can make their budget requests or decide it is out of their reach in the near future. Therefore we provide the following “ballpark” cost estimates, subject to change without notice.
Note: One factor to have in mind is whether you already have a current professional operations manual for your type of service operations. If you do, you probably fall in the lower end of the provided cost estimates.
Moving Vehicles – Part 107.25 Operation from a Moving Vehicle or Aircraft
Cost estimate: $2,500 to $5,000 and up
Night Waivers – Part 107.29 Daylight Operation
Cost estimate: $1,000 to $1,500 and up
BVLOS – Part 107.31 Visual Line of Sight Aircraft Operation
Cost estimate:$10,000 to $15,000 or more
Deposit retainer: $5,000 minimum
Swarms – Part 107.35 Operation of Multiple Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Cost estimate:$1,000 to $5,000 or more
Over People – Part 107.39 Operation Over Human Beings
Cost estimate: $5,000 to $10,000 or more
Deposit retainer: $2,500 minimum
Antonelli Law offers a $350 comprehensive telephone consultation with Jeffrey Antonelli and our FAA consultant to discuss your UAS goals and whether, and how, you may obtain FAA approval.
If you would like to make an appointment for our $350 comprehensive consultation, please call us at 312-201-8310 or you may also use the contact form below.
More on BVLOS Part 107 Waivers – Why Is The Cost So High?
In brief, the answer in my view is lack of clarity from the FAA.
Many companies contact us here at Antonelli Law – domestic and international – seeking advice for obtaining the BLOS waiver. Many of them have very compelling stories and technology to offer. We wish we could provide both a standardized process (and standard legal fee) that is clear and predictable in scope and timeline, but trying to do so with the FAA involved is simply not possible right now.
The scope of work and cost varies as to whether you are looking for what is basically extended visual line of site operations for farmland, or you want to deliver things far from the ground control station – especially it is compounded with the possibility of flying over people.
However, the general steps are as follows:
Step One: Develop your concept of operations and risk assessment
Step Two: Develop testing data either overseas or at an FAA test site. Alternatively participate in the FAA Pathfinder Program.
Step Three: Draft the actual beyond line of sight (BLOS) waiver request under Part 107, technically parts 107.31, 102.200 and 107.205.
The fees for helping you through this are approximately (depending on the complexity and risk of your operations) $10,000 to $15,000 or more.
If you wish to fly BLOS involving delivering something that is not owned by the company – like Amazon is famously trying to do – currently there is no process for this available under Part 107 and another avenue must be pursued.
These are just the basics, but we hope this provides some insight whether you are an operator looking to expand your UAS operations or an investor evaluating a company pitching you getting regulatory approval from the FAA to fly and make money as promised.
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