Drone ownership, which includes hobbyists and professional drone operators, has increased over the last few years. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the number of registered drones surpassed one million in 2018. Here’s a guide to getting your FAA Part 107 commercial drone license.
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As a new drone owner, you may assume that once you register your drone you automatically have a license to fly when and wherever you please or even for extra income. Becoming a commercial drone pilot requires specific certification.
This article will walk you through the process and give you all the information you need to obtain your FAA 107 commercial drone license.
What Is The FAA 107 Commercial Drone License?
If you’re new to flying drones, there’s a good chance you don’t know much about certifications or the regulations to fly. The FAA 107 commercial drone license, which is also known as Part 107, is a requirement for individuals who have a drone that weighs less than 55 pounds and intend to use the drone for work or business.
Every state has different regulations regarding drone use, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with state drone regulations before you decide to get a commercial license.
In short, if you want to make a profit from using your drone, an FAA 107 commercial drone license is a must. Some drone operators, who have no plan to use their drone for income, get their commercial license for certain access privileges, but it’s important to note that there are strict guidelines (as well as restrictions) to follow with this type of license.
Not sure if you qualify or need to have a Part 107 license? Check out the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) online identification tool.
FAA 107 Requirements
If you qualify for a commercial license, here are a few more requirements to consider before deciding if a Part 107 license is ideal for you as a drone pilot:
You must pass the FAA’s knowledge test and retest every two years
At least 16 years old
Physically and mentally able to fly an unmanned aerial system (UAS)
Understand, write, and speak English
Provide proper documentation or are available for inspection upon request
Conduct a preflight inspection to ensure your drone is safe for operation
Report any incidents that result in injury or property damage (over $500) to the FAA
View the complete requirements for obtaining your FAA 107 commercial drone license.
It’s also important to note that some operations may require a waiver and are not covered by the commercial license. For a complete list of examples that are subject to waiver, contact FAA directly. Here are a few common examples, where you may need a waiver when operating a drone:
Operating from a moving vehicle
Operating over people
Operating more than one small UAS
Operating in certain airspace
Prepping For The FAA Aeronautical Knowledge Test
As with any licensing or certification test, you are more likely to pass the first time if you take the time to prepare. More importantly, you need to understand all of the information to the best of your ability (not just enough to pass the test).
If you memorize the minimum knowledge needed to pass the Part 107 test, you are more likely to encounter issues that you won’t know how to resolve as a drone pilot. Since “knowledge is power,” there are a few things you can do to help you better prepare for taking and passing your drone pilot test.
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