DO YOU NEED A LICENSE TO FLY A DRONE? DO YOU NEED TO REGISTER YOUR DRONE?
Whether you already own a drone, or you are on the look to buy a new one, if you don’t know the rules and regulations for flying drones legally outdoors, this article is for you.
Flying a drone is an absolutely fun journey. It’s an amazing activity that increasingly attracting more people every day. But this fun can also turn into a terrifying experience if you don’t know the rules and regulations for flying drones in your area.
Different countries have their own set of rules and criteria for numerous drone operations. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for enforcing the rules and regulations for flying drones in the United States.
The good news is not everyone needs a license to fly a drone. Two important factors will decide whether you need a license to fly your drone or not; the location and the purpose of flying your drone. If you plan to fly a drone for recreational purposes, for example flying it in the local park, in your backyard, or on your vacation site, you don’t need a license to fly your drone.
This was true till June 22, 2021, when the FAA updated its rules as follows: “All recreational drone pilots in the United States are now required to take free FAA online training to fly legally. The Recreational US Safety Test (TRUST) was mandated by Congress in the FAA Re-authorization Act of 2018. All drone pilots need to take the training if they are flying recreationally, regardless of whether they have a Part 107 license.”
The same rules still apply to people who are flying drones for some commercial activities. People, who are flying drones to make money, will need a drone license. This falls under the part 107 license.
If interested, you can sign up for the course here.
DO YOU NEED TO REGISTER YOUR DRONE?
It may sound confusing whether you need to register your drone with FAA or not. So let’s find out; Drone registration has to do with drone’s weights. The FAA regulations determines that 250g (0.55 lbs.) is the limit. So, if your drone weight ought to be below 250g (0.55 lbs.), you don’t need to register it with FAA. If not, then drone’s registration is required.
WHAT IS PART 107 LICENSE AND WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH IT?
A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) remote pilot certificate is required to fly a drone for any non-recreational purpose. It is commonly known as the Part 107 certificate (or a drone license). With this certificate, you can fly drones in any state in the United States. It is also required to renew it every two years. Take a closer look at all of the rules and regulations in Part 107 of the Commercial and Recreational License. Flying drones have grown among hobbyist and became a very popular sport. Youngsters love the sport of drone racing. To protect security concerns and control privacy, the FAA has also set some rules and regulations for leisure travelers. Be aware that licensed pilots can operate a drone for fun, but hobbyist pilots cannot fly commercial drones without a license.
WHO NEEDS PART 107 DRONE LICENSE?
A license is needed every time a commercial drone is operated. For example:
- Using your drone for business activities
- Flying a drone for profit
- Operating a drone to monitor internal processes in your institute
- Selling your drone photos
- Uploading your drone videos to YouTube with the monetization tool activated
- Using a drone for public security measures
You can sign up for the course here.
WHEN LICENSE IS NOT REQUIRED FOR FLYING A DRONE?
You don’t need a drone license for purely fun maneuvers such as:
- Flying drones for pleasure
- Flying your drone during your touristic visit, and vocational trip
- Flying for fun at campsites
- Capturing beautiful moments in parks or fields
- Strictly flying a drone as a hobbyist
Keep in mind that these are some common examples and you can still fall into the trap of flying under the commercial category without knowing it. You should be well aware of all rules proposed by the Part 107 certificate. Check out the general rules for the recreational and commercial flying of drones in the US.
WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR FLYING DRONES JUST FOR FUN?
Updated by FAA on June 22, 2021: “All recreational drone pilots in the United States are now required to take free FAA online training to fly legally. All drone pilots need to take the training if they are flying recreationally, regardless of whether they have a Part 107 license.” Visit FAA website for more details.
All the drone pilots wishing to fly a drone as a fun activity should follow the rules for safe and trouble-free flight. Regulations prescribed by the model craft rules of office are following.
- All the unregistered drone weight ought to be below 250g (0.55 lbs.).
- Registration of your Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), must be done with the FAA on the official website.
- You are legally allowed to fly the drones for a hobby or fun purpose only.
- You must always fly a drone within your visual range, so you can directly keep an eye on your UAV
- Flying the drone within the dark is strictly restricted.
- You must fly below the maximum allowable height of 120 meters(400 feet), either above the ground or over water.
- You must follow the community-based safety rules of the FAA-recognized Community Based Organization (CBO) such as AMA.
- Stay away from other aircrafts.
- You must never fly in restricted drone areas like overcrowded places, the surrounding areas of the airports, near any emergency effort zone, or other no-fly zones.
- The sanctioned speed for a drone is one hundred (100) miles per hour.Never fly your drone over this limit.
- It is advised to fly the drone in Class G airspace.
- Different controlled airspaces besides class B, category C, category D, and Class E are allowed once with the authorization through Drone Zone or LAANC.
There may be additional state codes and regulations that must be followed. Please visit the official FAA website page to view all the regulatory requirements for recreational drone flights.
WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR FLYING DRONES FOR COMMERCIAL USE?
If you are wondering how to start a drone business, check out this article: “How to Make Money Flying Drones?” And as an example of commercial use of drones, check out this guide: ” How to Get Started with Drone Inspection Service?”.
Now if you made up your mind and decided to fly your drone commercially or for compensation, you need to consider the following important rules.
- Drone pilot must be Remote Pilot Certified from FAA.
- The weight of your UAV must not be more than 55 lbs. (plus the payload) at takeoff.
- It is required that all pilots must register their Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
- Keep your UAV surrounded by your sight.
- Don’t fly above 400 feet.
- Use your drone in the suggested Class G airspace.
- Never exceed the drone speed limit of 100 miles per hour.
- You must immediately provide ways for the manned aircraft, especially crewed aircraft such as planes and helicopter
- You must abstain from flying a drone while driving your vehicle.
Visit the FAA’s website to find out more.
A drone pilot needs to pass a 60-item Part 107 knowledge test, needs few qualifications, and must be vetted by the TSA.
Following these rules are very important in the context of airspace safety. If rules are not followed, it can lead to heavy penalties and even jail for up to two years. Remember that the government has taken reforms for our protection and ensuring the safe use of drones. As responsible citizens, we must respect privacy and strictly follow the rules. So set the sky, enjoy worry-free flights and stay safe, and remember:
- If your drone weighs more than 0.55 lbs, it needs to be registered with FAA.
- If you’re flying your drone for non-recreational use, you need to have a commercial license.
- All drone pilots need to take the training if they are flying recreationally, regardless of whether they have a Part 107 license.