The Federal Aviation Administration or FAA is the largest transportation agency of the U.S. government and regulates all aspects of civil aviation in the country as well as over surrounding international waters. Its responsibilities include air traffic management, certification of personnel and aircraft, setting standards for airports, and protection of U.S. assets during the launch or re-entry of commercial space vehicles. They have certain rules for this so called air traffic management including commercial operators flying drones – this is the part 107 rules which was made public and announced in June 2016. If you want to be a professional drone pilot, you have to know the rules and be compliant in all certificates that they will require.
The FAA part 107 certification which is the Remote Pilot Certification also known as the “drone license” allows you to sell your aerial drone photos and videos and to charge money for the drone services you’ve done. Where do these pictures and videos used? This can be used for conducting aerial inspections, collecting aerial data, and surveying/mapping areas of land from an aerial perspective.
Before you fly your drone below 400 feet within your area, you should have a drone license and registered drone. You can read through this article to give you a step-by-step guide to the FAA part 107 certification process: https://www.dronepilotgroundschool.com/drone-license/?_ga=2.176198117.1573385291.1648363634-1209542804.1648363633
And if you want to register your drone, you can read through this article – https://www.dronepilotgroundschool.com/faa-drone-registration/?_ga=2.189873515.1573385291.1648363634-1209542804.1648363633
In flying your drone, you really need to follow the FAA part 107 rules. If you don’t follow and even fly drones without a drone license, the FAA can issue you a fine up to $27,500 for civil penalties and/or up to $250,000 for criminal penalties. You can read through the summary of the Part 107 rules here – https://www.faa.gov/uas/media/Part_107_Summary.pdf
There are many areas of work where you can use your abilities as an FAA-certified drone pilot. These are job opportunities and big trends to choose from like drones in real estate, drones in construction/mining, drones in filmmaking, drones in public safety, drones in agriculture, transportation and a whole lot more.
So have you decided to take the FAA part 107 test and be a professional drone pilot? If yes, then you can take this test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center. You need to go to the PSI website (https://faa.psiexams.com/faa/login) then select ‘Unmanned Aircraft General – Small’ from the drop down menu and there you can locate a testing center by address, city or zipcode. Sounds easy, right? The test consists of 60 multiple-choice questions, which needs to be completed within 2 hours. The minimum passing score is 70% (that means, you’ll need to get at least 42 questions right). There are also many study guides that will help you pass the test. In fact, FAA has a list of free PDFs you can use to study for the test! Find it here – https://www.faa.gov/uas/resources/policy_library/#107
From the time the FAA was announced back in 2016 until now, there were few things that changed and more changes are expected in the next few years. Changes include developing a digital system (LAANC) for authorizing drone pilots to fly in controlled airspace. There were also changes in the recertification process, modified its drone marketing requirement, added new locations to the list of restricted off-limits sites and they even increased surveillance and started conducting ramp checks. All of these and more can be found in the FAA’s website – https://www.faa.gov/
Be informed and be aware before flying your drone. After all, it’s your responsibility to follow these rules when you start to enjoy this hobby and even use it to make money in the future.