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USA Regulation Question - Elementary School

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I have a request to capture some images of an elementary school - it is for a non-profit organization serving the area.
It would be in the evening about 7:00 so no children would be present. I have always stayed away from schools because I thought they were absolutely no-fly zones, but I saw some pics from a respected photographer a few weeks ago of a school.
Is it possible to request a waiver? Or can I capture images from the edge of the property without being out of compliance?
Anyone with commercial experience know the rule with certainty?
 
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What law makes schools a "no-fly zone"? None that I have heard of.

And the FAA certainly doesn't think so.

By default, anything you can see from public property can be photographed without any concern for violating anyone's privacy. You are smart to avoid photographing children in this way.

But I know of no reason for you not to take a photo of a school.
 
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There are no regs preventing flying near a school. The only rules would be around taking/using pictures of kids without their permission which has nothing to do with drone use, but pics in general.

Having said that, having your 107, you should know that. Even if doing a shoot for a non profit it’s still considered ‘commercial’ and you need a 107.
 
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There are two parts to this: airspace and property. I have done a lot of projects on college campuses. The campus regs differ from lengthy permits to simply calling campus police before you fly (after providing FAA certs and insurance proof to admin). The bottomline is that the FAA controls the airspace. Their Facility Maps and normal flight area maps designate the level of restrictions. But, the schools own the property and can set their rules for its use. As far as I am concerned if your LZ is off school property there is no reason you cannot fly over it once in the air (or simply rise up for a distant shot). And of course you cannot fly over people. And I agree you need to be careful with taking pics of the kids. The best approach is to talk with the admin (and school board) and let them know what you are planning. And if the school is not in session, then there could be even less concerns or rules to deal with. Most schools do not allow the public to use the open space during school hours, but otherwise the public can use them all they want (since they paid for them). My preference would be to fly when the kids are not around to run over and hang out while you are trying to work or land.
 
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I have a contract for a half dozen schools to scan their solar carports arrays several times a year. Once in the summer and once during school session. Always run missions on Sunday and get approval of each school Admin prior to each shoot. I have on a couple of occasions, arrived and there is a soccer or other event. Just re-schedule. It is near home base so not to much trouble. Good idea to have that approval in writing with you. Email from school Adm is all I carry. Fly safe>>>
 
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Thanks for the clarification. This helps me out. I tend to be overly cautious but I am gaining confidence. I never want to learn the hard way. I did call the school this morning and they had no problems with it so that would apparently be the green light.
 
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The LAANC designation is likely not connected to it being a school, but the school (and often the city) is within distance of the local airport and its restricted area. You need to go to FAA's link to the LAANC Facility Map. If the school (or your filming area) is in a '0' AGL box, you are likely toast. You need to get a waiver from the FAA for that area (takes 90 days). Most of the time the FAA will deny you access. Also check DJI's Safe Fly map and see if your site is in the blue authorized area. If it is you will need to use DJI's site to unlock your aircraft for up to 3 days. If it is in the DJI restricted red area, you will need to prove to DJI that you have authority to fly and provide a lot of info and proof. In the old days I was able to pull that off with a NOTAM (333 Exemption) and applying to DJI for an unlock code. Hopefully the school(s) will NOT be in the LAANC '0' area. The map holds the key to whether you can fly. If it is >0, then you will need to obtain authorization using an app like AirMap. Not hard, but just another step to do. If there is no LAANC box (far enough from the airport to not be restricted), then you are likely in Class G airspace and you can fly easier. And of course these comments are assuming you are Part 107.
 
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Im using Skyward - It's definitely LAANC but it is good to 400'. When I request the LAANC I get "Part of the requested area overlaps a restricted area, please adjust and resubmit. The school property is outlined and shaded red. A school about 8 blocks away, I was able to submit the LAANC and it returned authorization to me.
 
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One thing to remember is that the center of your flight area may be OK, but depending on the radius you could overlap a restricted area. If you are 400' I cannot imagine it being next to a 0 AGL area. Simply make sure your entire flight area is inside a good area.
 
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Why are you using LAANC.? You only need that if you are flying in an NFZ. All info will be on a sectional. Are you sure you have a 107? You should know all this? If you don’t, which I suspect you don’t, you could get in trouble with this mission. This is about as basic as it gets related to 107.
 
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Not sure who you are referring to, but I use LAANC in all NFZ, EXCEPT where the AGL is 0'. The sectional helps with initial review of the airport areas and airspace classifications, but the Facility Maps are the critical component to verifying the use of approval via LAANC.
 
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Why are you using LAANC.? You only need that if you are flying in an NFZ. All info will be on a sectional. Are you sure you have a 107? You should know all this? If you don’t, which I suspect you don’t, you could get in trouble with this mission. This is about as basic as it gets related to 107.
Hey...I am sorry, I don't know it all - it is absolutely a LAANC area. And yes, I do have my Part 107. It's not always cut and dried though.
I have never flown over a school since, here in Omaha, Skyward does deliniate them in red as a restricted flight zone the same as a prison or military installation, so that's what led me to believe that I could not fly over them.
I thought this might be a safe place to ask questions to clarify a point I was unsure of.
 
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Hey...I am sorry, I don't know it all - it is absolutely a LAANC area. And yes, I do have my Part 107. It's not always cut and dried though.
I have never flown over a school since, here in Omaha, Skyward does deliniate them in red as a restricted flight zone the same as a prison or military installation, so that's what led me to believe that I could not fly over them.
I thought this might be a safe place to ask questions to clarify a point I was unsure of.
Skyward nor apps are the final authority on airspace, Sectionals are. You seem to have confused yourself in a convoluted sphagetti of NFZs, LAANCs, Skyward, apps, etc.

I can't understand what a LAANC has to do with a school unless the school is in controlled airspace.

How about posting the exact location so we can all look at a Sectional?
 
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Sectionals are your first go-to. Airmap flags schools as well, but not as a no fly. They are "sensitive areas".
 
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Hey...I am sorry, I don't know it all - it is absolutely a LAANC area. And yes, I do have my Part 107. It's not always cut and dried though.
I have never flown over a school since, here in Omaha, Skyward does deliniate them in red as a restricted flight zone the same as a prison or military installation, so that's what led me to believe that I could not fly over them.
I thought this might be a safe place to ask questions to clarify a point I was unsure of.
Sorry you took offense, but I don’t know you and there are a lot of people that don’t tell the truth on the Internet and your situation IS about as basic as it gets for someone that has passed the 107 test, so of course your going to be met with skeptics. With the emphasis the FAA puts on sectionals on the test, you should know the sectionals are ‘the bible’ and NOTAMs supplement the sectionals.
 

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Hey...I am sorry, I don't know it all - it is absolutely a LAANC area. And yes, I do have my Part 107. It's not always cut and dried though.
I have never flown over a school since, here in Omaha, Skyward does deliniate them in red as a restricted flight zone the same as a prison or military installation, so that's what led me to believe that I could not fly over them.
I thought this might be a safe place to ask questions to clarify a point I was unsure of.
The school may be located in or near a NFZ. Go to DJI Safe Fly portal and do a custom unlock to assure your ability to fly there. If you need help with this process, give me a shout.
 
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I would love to see a class action lawsuit against DJI regarding these no-fly zones. Especially for part 107 pilots. I realize they are protecting themselves. I get that. But for part 107 pilots we have past the FAA test and should be fully responsible for our actions.
 

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