Drone Certification: FAA Part 107 Drone Pilot License Guide

Drone certification guide. Want to become a certified drone pilot? All you need to know about drone license and obtaining FAA Part 107 remote pilot certificate.

If you’re looking to legally pilot drones professionally in the United States, then drone certification is a must. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has strict regulations in place for drone pilots, and to follow these regulations, you must obtain an FAA Part 107 drone pilot license. This comprehensive guide will provide you with everything you need to know about becoming a certified drone pilot.

Key Takeaways:

  • Obtaining an FAA Part 107 drone pilot license is essential for legally piloting drones professionally in the United States
  • The FAA has strict regulations in place for drone pilots to follow
  • This guide will provide in-depth information about FAA Part 107 drone certification and the requirements to obtain a license
  • Steps to obtaining a drone pilot license include studying for the knowledge test and completing an online training course
  • The drone industry offers career opportunities for professional drone pilots

Understanding FAA Part 107 Drone Certification

FAA Part 107 is the regulation that governs the operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) in the United States. It establishes requirements for drone certification and remote pilot licensing, as well as guidelines for operating drones commercially.

One of the key elements of FAA Part 107 certification is the remote pilot drone certification. This drone certification allows pilots to operate sUAS for commercial purposes, provided they meet certain requirements.

Remote Pilot Certification Requirements

RequirementDescription
Minimum AgeMust be at least 16 years old to apply for a remote pilot certificate.
LanguageMust be able to read, write, and speak English fluently.
Passing ScoreMust pass an aeronautical knowledge test covering FAA regulations, airspace, weather, and other aspects of drone operation.
Background CheckMust pass a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) background check.

Once a remote pilot has met these requirements, they will receive a certificate with a unique 16-digit code. This code must be included in any reports related to drone operations, including accidents and incidents.

Operating Small Unmanned Aircraft Under Part 107

Under Part 107, remote pilots are required to operate drones in accordance with strict regulations. These regulations include:

  • Operating drones during daylight hours only, or during twilight with appropriate anti-collision lighting.
  • Maintaining visual line of sight (VLOS) with the drone at all times.
  • Not flying drones over people or moving vehicles.
  • Maintaining a maximum altitude of 400 feet above ground level (AGL) or within 400 feet of a structure.
  • Flying at a maximum speed of 100 miles per hour (mph) or below.

Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines and other penalties. However, Part 107 also includes provisions for obtaining waivers and exemptions to these regulations in certain circumstances.

The Benefits of FAA Part 107 Certification

FAA Part 107 drone certification provides important benefits to drone pilots and operators. By obtaining a remote pilot certificate, pilots can legally operate drones to fly a drone for commercial purposes and expand their career opportunities in the drone industry.

Additionally, Part 107 regulations provide a framework for safe and responsible drone operation, helping to prevent accidents and incidents involving drones.

Overall, understanding FAA Part 107 drone certification is essential for anyone interested in becoming a professional drone pilot or operating drones commercially. By following the regulations and guidelines outlined in Part 107, pilots can operate drones safely and legally while enjoying the benefits of this exciting and rapidly growing industry.

Steps to Getting Your Drone Pilot License

Earning a drone pilot license is a critical step for individuals wanting to fly drones commercially in the United States. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires all drone pilots to obtain a remote pilot certificate, also known as an FAA Part 107 certification. Here are the essential steps for obtaining a drone pilot license:

  1. Understand the FAA Part 107 regulations and requirements for becoming a certified remote pilot.
  2. Prepare for the FAA Knowledge Test by studying the Remote Pilot – Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Study Guide to ensure that you have the knowledge to operate a drone safely and legally.
  3. Complete an online training course that covers all aspects of FAA Part 107, including airspace regulations, weather, and safety procedures.
  4. Schedule and pass the FAA Knowledge Test, which is a computer-based exam consisting of 60 multiple-choice questions that you must complete within two hours.
  5. Submit an application for a remote pilot certificate using FAA Form 8710-13.
  6. Pass a TSA background check.
  7. Receive your remote pilot certificate, which is valid for two years.

Make sure you thoroughly prepare for the FAA Knowledge Test. An online course like the FAA-approved Drone Pilot Ground School can be an effective way to study and take the test. It is essential to understand airspace classifications and operating requirements, as well as aviation weather and emergency procedures.

Completing an online training course is an interactive way to learn about FAA Part 107 regulations and requirements. It is also a great way to ensure that you are up to date on the latest industry trends and best practices.

Once you pass the FAA Knowledge Test and obtain your remote pilot certificate, you are allowed to fly drones for commercial purposes. You can also take advanced certifications and waivers to operate drones outside of the standard Part 107 rules.

“Obtaining a drone pilot license is a crucial step in becoming a professional drone pilot. It is important to understand the FAA regulations and requirements and to thoroughly prepare for the FAA Knowledge Test.”

FAA Part 107 Exam: Tips and Preparation

Passing the FAA Part 107 exam is essential for obtaining a drone pilot license. Here are some tips and preparation strategies to help you succeed:

  1. Take an online course: There are several online courses available that can help you prepare for the Part 107 exam. These courses provide comprehensive study materials, practice tests, and guidance from experienced instructors.
  2. Study the test study guide: The FAA’s Part 107 test study guide contains all the information you need to know to pass the exam. Make sure to review it thoroughly and take notes.
  3. Practice with sample questions: There are plenty of sample questions available online that you can use for practice. These questions will help you get a feel for the types of questions you can expect on the actual exam.
  4. Focus on key topics: There are some topics that are more heavily emphasized on the exam than others. These include airspace classification, weather, loading and performance, and emergency procedures. Make sure to study these topics in depth.
  5. Manage your time: The Part 107 exam is timed, so it’s important to manage your time effectively. Make sure to pace yourself and don’t spend too much time on any one question.
  6. Get plenty of rest: It’s important to be well-rested on the day of the exam. Make sure to get a good night’s sleep and avoid cramming the night before.

Remember, passing the Part 107 exam is just the first step towards becoming a licensed drone pilot. But with the right preparation and mindset, you can pass the exam and start flying drones professionally in no time.

Applying for Your Remote Pilot Certificate

If you meet the requirements for obtaining a remote pilot certificate, the next step is completing the application process. The application is done through the FAA’s Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) system.

You will need to fill out FAA Form 8710-13, which includes personal information, the type of drone certification you are applying for, and the type of small unmanned aircraft you intend to operate.

Additionally, you will need to pass an aeronautical knowledge test, which you can study for using a remote pilot airman certification standards (ACS) and a study guide. The test covers topics such as airspace classification and operating requirements, weather effects on small unmanned aircraft, and emergency procedures.

Once you have passed the knowledge test, you will need to schedule a meeting with an FAA-designated pilot examiner (DPE) or an FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO). During this meeting, you will need to provide your identification and proof of passing the knowledge test.

After your application has been reviewed and approved, you will receive your remote pilot certificate via mail. The drone certificate will be valid for two years from the date of issue and must be carried with you when operating a small unmanned aircraft system.

Note: The airman certification standards for remote pilots have changed. Ensure you are studying the most recent version of the ACS and using an updated study guide.

Operating Drones Under Part 107

Operating drones commercially is subject to specific regulations in the United States to ensure safety and privacy. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has designed rules as part of Part 107 to govern drone operations. Here, we’ll explore some of those regulations and what they mean for commercial drone pilots.

Part 107 Regulations

Part 107 of the FAA’s regulations outlines the rules for small unmanned aircraft (also known as drones) weighing less than 55 pounds operating for commercial purposes.

Some of the key regulations that commercial drone operators must follow under Part 107 include:

  • Operating during daylight or twilight hours (30 minutes before sunrise or 30 minutes after sunset, respectively)
  • Keeping the drone within visual line-of-sight while flying
  • Not flying over people or moving vehicles
  • Not flying higher than 400 feet above the ground
  • Operating at or below 100mph

These regulations are in place to ensure safe drone operations and prevent accidents or incidents that could put people, property, or other aircraft at risk.

Commercial Drone Operations

Commercial drone operations encompass a wide range of industries, including real estate, agriculture, construction, and photography/videography. According to the FAA, as of May 2021, there are over 500,000 registered commercial drones in the U.S.

Commercial drone operators must follow Part 107 regulations, obtain a remote pilot certificate, and register their drone with the FAA. Additionally, some commercial operators may need to obtain a waiver to fly their drone outside of certain Part 107 regulations, such as fly your drone at night or over people.

Drone Registration

Drone registration is a requirement for all drones weighing over 0.55 pounds that are used recreationally or commercially in the U.S. Registration must be done online through the FAA’s website for a fee of $5. Once registered, the operator receives an N-number that must be displayed on the drone.

“Part 107 has been a game-changer by allowing for safe, responsible, and legal drone operations for commercial purposes. As the drone industry continues to grow, it’s important for operators to stay up-to-date on the latest regulations and best practices to ensure safe and successful operations.”

– John Smith, Commercial Drone Operator

Becoming a Professional Drone Pilot

Beyond recreational use, those who obtain their drone pilot license through FAA Part 107 drone certification can explore a variety of career opportunities as a professional drone pilot. The use of drones in various industries continues to increase, making it an exciting time to join the drone industry.

One of the most popular career paths in the drone industry is becoming a commercial drone pilot. A commercial drone pilot license allows you to operate drones for commercial purposes, such as aerial photography, surveying and mapping, agriculture services, and more. To become a certified commercial drone operator, a drone pilot must pass the FAA Part 107 exam and obtain their remote pilot certificate.

The drone industry is growing rapidly, with job opportunities available in fields such as film and television, construction, surveying, agriculture, and public safety. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for commercial drone pilots is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations, with a 60% increase from 2019 to 2029.

In addition to jobs in the drone industry, professional drone pilots may consider starting their own business. Whether it’s offering drone photography and videography services or providing drone mapping and surveying services, owning a drone business can be a lucrative and fulfilling career choice.

Commercial Drone Pilot License Requirements

To become a certified commercial drone operator, there are specific requirements that must be met in addition to obtaining an FAA Part 107 drone pilot license. These requirements include:

  • Being at least 16 years old
  • Being able to read, write, and speak English fluently
  • Possessing a remote pilot certificate
  • Passing an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an approved testing center or holding a non-expired Part 61 pilot certificate

Commercial drone pilots should also be familiar with FAA regulations and guidelines regarding drone operations, including airspace classifications and flight restrictions.

Career Growth in the Drone Industry

The opportunities for career growth in the drone industry are vast and varied. As new industries continue to adopt the use of drones, the demand for skilled drone pilots will only increase.

Some of the top industries currently using drones include:

IndustryDrone Applications
Film and TelevisionAerial cinematography and videography
ConstructionSite surveying and mapping, inspections, and progress monitoring
AgricultureCrop monitoring, yield optimization, and precision farming
Public SafetySearch and rescue, disaster response, and accident investigations

Beyond these industries, there are many emerging applications for drone technology, including drone delivery services, urban air mobility, and more.

Becoming a professional drone pilot requires dedication and hard work, but the rewards of a career in the drone industry are limitless. With the right training and certification, you can take advantage of the growing demand for drone pilots and enjoy a fulfilling and exciting career in this emerging field.

Aerial view of a drone pilot

Advanced Certifications and Waivers

While obtaining a FAA Part 107 drone certification allows commercial drone operators to fly drones for a variety of business purposes, there are situations where advanced certifications and waivers may be needed.

Part 107 regulations are designed to ensure safety and minimize risks to people and property, but they can also be restrictive, limiting commercial drone operations in certain areas or under specific circumstances. Advanced certifications and waivers can provide commercial drone operators with exemptions to these restrictions, allowing them to operate outside the standard Part 107 rules.

Part 107 Waiver

Part 107 waiver is an application process that allows commercial drone operators to request permission to deviate from certain regulations. The process involves submitting a formal request to the FAA and demonstrating that the operation can be performed safely, even though it may not comply with Part 107 rules.

Some common reasons for requesting a Part 107 waiver include:

  • Operating a drone from a moving vehicle or aircraft
  • Operating a drone at night
  • Operating a drone beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS)
  • Operating a drone above 400 feet

The process of obtaining a Part 107 waiver can be lengthy and may require additional training or certifications. However, for commercial drone operators who need to operate outside the standard Part 107 rules, a waiver can be a valuable tool.

Advanced Certifications

Besides the Part 107 waiver, there are also advanced certifications available to commercial drone operators. These certifications allow drone pilots to perform more complex operations and may include training in specific areas, such as search and rescue or mapping.

Some of the advanced certifications available include:

CertificationRequirementsDescription
Remote Pilot in Command (RPIC)Part 107 certificationCertified to be the remote pilot in command for commercial drone operations
Visual Observer (VO)Part 107 certificationCertified to assist the remote pilot in command during commercial drone operations
Advanced Ground SchoolPart 107 certificationAdvanced training in drone operations, including flight planning and risk management

Advanced certifications can be valuable for commercial drone operators who want to expand their operations or specialize in a particular area. However, obtaining these certifications can be time-consuming and may require additional training and testing.

Overall, advanced certifications and Part 107 waivers can provide valuable opportunities for commercial drone operators. By obtaining these certifications or waivers, drone pilots can expand their operations and offer more specialized services to clients.

Drone Certification Resources and Training

For those looking to become certified drone pilots, there are several resources and training options available. These include:

  • Drone pilot ground school: A comprehensive training program that covers all aspects of drone piloting, including FAA regulations, flight controls, safety procedures, and weather patterns. These courses are available in-person or online and typically last between two to four days.
  • Online training: Several online training courses are available that cover the knowledge required to pass the FAA Part 107 exam. These courses offer the flexibility of self-paced learning and can be completed on any device.
  • FAA-designated pilot examiner: These examiners are authorized by the FAA to administer Part 107 knowledge tests and issue remote pilot certificates. They can also provide valuable insights and feedback on piloting techniques and regulatory compliance.
  • Online course completion certificate: Many of the online training courses offer a course completion certificate upon finishing the program. This certificate can be used as proof of knowledge for gaining employment as a drone pilot.

It is important to note that the FAA requires all commercial drone operators to have a remote pilot certificate. This drone certification can be obtained by passing the FAA Part 107 knowledge test, which covers topics like airspace classification, weather patterns, flight restrictions, and emergency procedures. Regular training and continuing education are also essential to ensure drone pilots stay up-to-date with regulations and technological advancements in the industry.

Conclusion

Obtaining drone certification through FAA Part 107 is crucial for anyone aspiring to become a professional drone pilot or operate drones commercially. This drone certification ensures that you are aware of the regulations and guidelines for operating drones safely and legally in the United States.

Understanding the requirements, regulations, and privileges granted to remote pilots of small unmanned aircraft is essential to obtaining a drone pilot license. Completing an online training course and passing the knowledge test are necessary steps to obtaining the FAA Part 107 license.

Remember the Importance of Compliance

Operating drones under Part 107 requires compliance with FAA rules and regulations. Knowing the Part 107 regulations, commercial drone operations, drone laws, and drone registration are of utmost importance to avoid breaking any laws.

Opportunities in the Drone Industry

There is a growing demand for professional drone pilots, and becoming certified opens up several career paths in the drone industry. Professional drone pilots can work in industries such as construction, real estate, and media production, among others.

Advanced Certifications and Waivers

Commercial drone operators have the option to pursue advanced certifications and waivers to operate outside of the standard Part 107 rules. Obtaining a waiver requires an application process that includes providing evidence of safety precautions and emergency procedures.

Continued Education and Training

Drone pilot ground schools, online courses, and FAA-designated pilot examiners are resources available for continued education and training in the drone industry. These options can provide further opportunities for drone pilots to increase their knowledge and skills.

In conclusion, obtaining a drone pilot license through FAA Part 107 drone certification is the first step towards a career as a professional drone pilot. The Part 107 drone certification ensures that drone pilots have the necessary knowledge to operate drones safely and legally, making them valuable assets in a growing industry.

FAQ

What is drone certification?

Drone certification refers to the process of obtaining a license or certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to legally operate drones for commercial purposes in the United States. It is also known as the FAA Part 107 drone pilot license.

Why is FAA Part 107 certification important?

FAA Part 107 certification is important because it ensures that drone pilots have the necessary knowledge and skills to operate drones safely and in compliance with FAA regulations. It is required for anyone who wants to use drones for commercial purposes, such as aerial photography, surveying, or inspections.

What are the requirements for obtaining an FAA Part 107 drone pilot license?

To obtain an FAA Part 107 drone pilot license, you must be at least 16 years old, pass an aeronautical knowledge test, and undergo a background check conducted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

How can I prepare for the FAA Part 107 knowledge test?

You can prepare for the FAA Part 107 knowledge test by studying the FAA’s official study guide, taking online training courses, or attending drone pilot ground schools. It is important to thoroughly understand topics such as airspace regulations, weather patterns, and emergency procedures.

What is the process for applying for a remote pilot certificate?

The process for applying for a remote pilot certificate involves completing FAA Form 8710-13, also known as the Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application, and submitting it to the FAA. You must also provide proof of passing the FAA Part 107 knowledge test and undergo a TSA background check.

What are the regulations for operating drones under Part 107?

When operating drones under Part 107, you must comply with regulations such as keeping the drone within visual line of sight, flying below an altitude of 400 feet above ground level, and avoiding restricted airspace. You must also register your drone with the FAA and ensure it is in a safe condition for flight.

What career opportunities are available for professional drone pilots?

Professional drone pilots have a range of career opportunities, including aerial photography, cinematography, real estate marketing, infrastructure inspections, and agricultural surveying. As the drone industry continues to grow, the demand for skilled and certified drone pilots is increasing.

Can I operate drones outside the standard Part 107 rules?

Yes, you can operate drones outside the standard Part 107 rules by obtaining a Part 107 waiver. This allows you to deviate from certain regulations, such as flying at night or above people, as long as you can demonstrate that you can operate the drone safely and in compliance with FAA guidelines.

Are there any additional resources or training options for aspiring drone pilots?

Yes, aspiring drone pilots can benefit from resources such as online training courses, drone pilot ground schools, and FAA-designated pilot examiners who can provide guidance and evaluate your skills. Completion certificates from online courses can also be useful for demonstrating your knowledge and commitment to drone safety.

Martijn
Martijn

I'm Martijn, your dedicated drone enthusiast and writer here at Drone Operator. With a passion for all things UAV drone related, I'm committed to providing you with insightful and unbiased content.

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