I would like to apply for a waiver to fly a UAS to take pictures over the campus at Seattle Pacific University that is located just south of Portage Bay in Seattle but I'm told that can only be done in Class G airspace. Is there any Class G airspace in that area? Thanks. Alan Rither
It appears that Seattle Pacific University is located 14NM north of the SEA VOR on the 350° radial. This puts the university under class B airspace.
Over the university, class G airspace starts at the surface and extends upwards to 700 FT AGL, class E airspace extends from 700 FT AGL up to 3,000 FT MSL and class B airspace extends from 3,000 FT MSL to 10,000 FT MSL.
From a regulatory standpoint the FAA has a set of guidelines that are found in 14 CFR Part 107.
There are rules stating you cannot fly an UAS over persons who aren't part of the flight or with the traffic area of airports. You also cannot operate in areas where class B, C, D or E extends to the ground but that appears not to be the case here.
That area is class G up to 700 feet AGL. As has been pointed out in other answers, if you're doing the flight for any type of compensation you will need a part 107 uas license. Keep in mind that the FAA has a very broad definition of "compensation."
If you are doing this as a hobby then you can fly under hobby rules. There are no waivers under hobby rules. The FAA has been given pretty much a hands-off order by Congress for hobby flight. The regulations they set out are really vague. They refer the rulemaking to non-government entities such as the Academy for Model Aeronautics and ask you to follow their guidelines. Generally if you fly under 400 feet and use common sense (don't fly over people, etc) then you're legal. The only thing that the FAA requires of you under hobby rules, outside of controlled airspace, is that you contact any airport within 5 miles. Here's the catch: there are 13 different airports and heliports within 5 miles of the campus.
If you're operating under hobby rules then you need to find out if the city, county or state has any regulations on drones. This is a very sticky subject in aviation right now, as you can see from user45726's reaction. Pilots are understandably concerned about colliding with drones. I don't live in Seattle, but it seems hard to imagine that planes would have a good reason to be flying less than 500 feet over the campus. Out over the water there, that's a different story, with all the seaplane bases nearby.
That said, there's a lot of aviation activity in that area, so an excess of caution is called for.