A Summary of the FAA Part 107 Small Unmanned Aircraft Regulations.

What is Part 107?

Part 107 refers to a specific section of the regulations promulgated by the FAA, which pertain to the operation and use of small, unmanned aerial vehicles ("UAVs"), also referred to as "drones," for commercial purpose. The regulations set forth the means and mechanism by which an individual can obtain certification. These regulations apply to commercial drones and UAVs weighing less than 55 pounds.

Operating Requirements

  • Avoid manned aircraft;

  • No careless or reckless flying;

  • The drone must always be with visual line-of-sight (unaided; i.e., no binoculars, etc.);

  • Flying is permitted during daylight hours only, or in twilight (30 minutes before or after sunrise or sunset), with use of anti-collision lighting;

  • Minimum weather visibility of three miles;

  • Maximum altitude of 400 feet AGL, or higher if the drone is within 400 feet of a structure;

  • Maximum speed of 100 mph;

  • No flying over crowds;

  • No flying over anyone who is not directly participating in the operation, under a covered structure, or inside a stationary vehicle;

  • No flying from moving vehicles (unless flying over "sparsely populated" areas);

  • Operating in Class B, C, D or E airspace requires approval from Air Traffic Control ("ATC");

  • Carrying external load is permitted, but only if it is securely fixed to the UAV and does not interfere with flight characteristics;

  • Flying of cargo is permitted within state boundaries, provided the total weight of the UAV and the cargo does not exceed 55 lbs and the other flight rules are followed.

Pilot Certification

In order to operate a small UAS for commercial purposes, an RPC must obtain a Remote Pilot Airman Certificate with a Small UAS rating, or be under the direct supervision of a person who holds such a certificate. The requirements for obtaining a Certificate are:

  • You must be at least 16 years old;

  • You must pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test, and a recurrent aeronautical knowledge test every two years;

  • Alternatively, if you already a licensed Part 61 pilot (other than a student pilot certificate), and you have completed a flight review within the previous 24 months, you can obtain certification for UAS operations by taking a small UAS online training course provided by the FAA.

Other Requirements

  • You must make your drone available to the FAA for inspection or testing on request, and you must provide any associated records required to be kept under the rule.

  • You must report to the FAA within 10 days any operation that results in serious injury, loss of consciousness, or property damage (to property other than the UAS) of at least $500.

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