Should the question "On the LAANC map for sUAS operations, why does the permitted ceiling drop to zero southeast of KGFL" be re-opened?


2 Answers 2


I think questions about LAANC or other drone related regulations are on-topic here. The help center clearly lists:

  • Aviation Regulations

as on-topic and there is no condition that it has to be about manned aviation. I don't think it was correct to close the linked question as off-topic.

Having said that, I haven't voted to re-open the question. In its current form it is far too long (including many screenshots that distract from the main question) and it asks too many distinct questions. IMHO, the question should be more focused on the actual problem. Then it can be re-opened.

  • $\begingroup$ If those flaws that you mentioned don't take the question outside the scope of what is an on-topic question for ASE, you could always vote to re-open, but not upvote when it is re-opened. Heck, you could vote to-reopen, but then downvote when it is re-opened. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 7, 2021 at 14:32
  • $\begingroup$ Then you would still be making your point about what is or is not on topic for ASE, without lending support to an objectionable question. Obviously, my personal belief is that the question is not objectionable (or else I would have edited it) -- those screenshots serve the specific purpose of showing that the airspace near KGFL is being treated in an anomalous matter, on the LAANC map grid. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 7, 2021 at 18:14

Yes, the question "On the LAANC map for sUAS operations, why does the permitted ceiling drop to zero southeast of KGFL" should be re-opened.

Here's why.

  1. It's essentially asking, among other things, "are there aspects of the instrument approaches into or out of KGFL that would justify banning all sUAS operation in the airspace 5 to 10 miles southeast of KGFL, even though there are other airports with similar long arms of E2 Class-E-to-surface airspace where the permitted ceiling is all the way up at the maximum value of 400' AGL?" How is this question not on topic for ASE?

  2. Why does ASE have an "umanned aerial vehicle" tag, if questions about unmanned aerial vehicles are not allowed?

  3. It has been suggested that the question better belongs on the "drones" SE site. In past discussion, the consensus was that the opening of the "drones" site would not cause questions that were previously on-topic for ASE, to now become off-topic.

  4. Furthermore, if we take a look at the drones and model aircraft SE site, we see that most of the questions are technically oriented-- e.g. "how much current will this size motor draw from this size battery". The present question is arguably much better suited to Aviation SE than to Drones and Model Aircraft SE. The participants in Aviation SE seem, on the whole, to be much more likely to be able to answer the question than the participants in Drones and Model Aircraft SE.

  5. If the current guidelines for on-topic questions for ASE seem to rule out this question, then they should be changed. But also consider: there are many other topics which are currently featured on ASE that are technically outside the Help Center guidelines for on-topic questions. Examples include: questions about aviation history (such as this recent question Did Japan actually use any production aircraft with inverted gull wings during WW2? ), arguably any general question about aviation sectional charts that does not directly involve a question about ATC, etc. A little common sense ought to be applied here, rather than a strait-jacketed interpretation of the on-topic guidelines in the Help Center.

  6. But more to the point, the current question is on-topic according to the guidelines in the Help Center. The guidelines in the Help Center state that Aviation Regulations are on-topic. The FAA refers to drones, model airplanes, etc as "small Unmanned Aircraft Systems" (sUAS). "Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems" obviously are by definition "aircraft", and the piloting of drones, model airplanes, etc is a form of Aviation. Certainly the FAA seems to think so! The FAA has explicitly stated that sUAS fall under the definition of "aircraft", as far as the FARs are concerned. Therefore a question about regulations applying to sUAS is on topic for ASE.

  7. Note that the ceiling permitted by the LAANC grid pertains to sUAS being flown under Part 107 of the FARs, as well as those being flown under the Recreational Exception. I.e. this question is not only about "toy" or hobbyist-flown sUAS.

Granted, this site is still "figuring out" how to treat questions dealing with sUAS (model airplanes, "drones", etc). Please set a helpful precedent and help steer our community in the right direction by voting to re-open this question.

If you think the question is on topic for ASE, but has other "issues", why not consider voting to re-open (given that the primary rationale for closure was "off topic for ASE"), but not upvoting-- or maybe even downvoting if you feel moved to do so?

That way you would still be making your voice heard in regards to what should be an on-topic question for ASE, without actually lending your support to a question that you feel has some issues.

Related past questions to Aviation Meta--

How should we handle the new drones.SE site?

Can I discuss drones and UAVs in aviation stack exchange?

Are remote controlled aircraft on-topic?

Are questions about hobby-grade drones on-topic in general?


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