FAA DRONE pilot training

U.S Drone laws

Flying a drone in the usa

What you need to know?

Do I Need A Drone License

If you're flying a drone in the U.S, you need to be aware of the rules and regulations.

One of the key questions is do you need a drone license and do you need to sit the Part 107 test? In a nutshell, the rules are this:

Commercial User: You need a drone license when you are flying as a commercial drone pilot, ie when you are using your drone for work and money-making purposes. This means, in most cases, you will need to sit the FAA Part 107 test.

Hobbyist Flyer: You do not need a drone license when you are flying as a hobby and for purely recreational purposes. However, you will need to operate by strict rules. There are plans to introduce the requirement for hobbyists to pass an online aeronautical knowledge and safety test.


FAA Part 107 for commercial drone pilots

Sit the Part 107 Knowledge Test.

Steps To Obtaining An FAA Drone License

So, you're a commercial operator, meaning that you need to obtain an FAA drone license. What do you need to know?

One of the key things is passing the FAA Part 107 Test, known as the Aeronautical Knowledge Test. You need to be at least 16 years old to do this.

The test can be conducted at one of around 700 FAA-approved knowledge testing centers across the United States.

After passing the test, you will need to apply for and obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate, using the FAA’s online IACRA system, and be vetted by the Transportation Security Administration.

You will be required to pass a recurrent aeronautical knowledge test every 24 months.


Drone Rules For Commercial Pilots

What You Need To Know, When To Apply For A Waiver, and the Part 61 Rule

Once you have passed your FAA Part 107 Test and obtained your Remote Pilot Certificate, there are certain rules that you need to abide by. These include:

  • You must register your UAV with the FAA.
  • Your drone must weigh less than 55 pounds, including payload.
  • You must fly in Class G airspace.
  • You must keep your UAV within visual line-of-sight.*
  • You must fly at or below 400 feet.*
  • You must fly during daylight or civil twilight.*
  • You must fly at or under 100 mph.*
  • You must yield right of way to manned aircraft.*
  • You cannot fly directly over people.*
  • You cannot fly from a moving vehicle, unless in a sparsely populated area.*

*These restrictions can be waived if you submit and receive a Part 107 waiver from the FAA.

Operators can also bypass the Class G airspace restriction by applying and receiving approval for special airspace authorization from the FAA.

Certified commercial operators wanting to operate drones exceeding 55lbs must obtain either an airworthiness certificate or an exemption under 49 U.S.C. section 44807 (Special Authority for Certain Unmanned Systems).

If you are a commercial drone pilot with a manned pilot certificate issued under 14 CFR Part 61 and have completed a flight review within the previous 24 months - you do not need to obtain a Part 107 drone license.
Also, any drone pilots with a Section 333 Exemption can continue to operate under its provisions throughout the 24-month licensing window. Pilots can still go through Part 107 separately.

Flying Beyond Visual Line of Site (BVLOS)

Tactical BVLOS Waivers 

The FAA allows first responders to fly beyond visual line of sight in times of extreme emergencies.

Public safety teams can apply for a Tactical BVLOS waiver to allow them to conduct BVLOS UAS flights to assess operational environments.

Examples of where BVLOS operations would be advantageous include:

  • Surveying and inspecting large structural fires for fire crews;
  • Aerial reconnaissance on roof areas for crimes in progress;
  • Flying over heavily forested areas to search for missing persons.

The tactical BVLOS waiver will expand responders’ drone capabilities, but there are conditions which must be adhered to:

  • First Responder must already be flying under a valid Part 91 Certificate of Authorization;
  • BVLOS is only to be used in extreme emergency situations to safeguard human life;
  • The Pilot in Command (PIC) will return to Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) operations as soon as practical or upon the termination of the extreme emergency situation;
  • The PIC must not operate any higher than 50 feet above or greater than 400 feet laterally of the nearest obstacle while operating TBVLOS. The 50 feet above an obstacle cannot exceed the 400 feet above ground level (AGL) hard ceiling;
  • The UAS must remain within 1500 feet of the PIC.

Drone Training FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Applying for an FAA drone pilot licence? Here's what you need to know.

How long is the Part 107 Knowledge Test licence valid for?

The FAA drone license is valid for 2 years. Certificate holders must pass a recurrent knowledge test every two years.

What topics are on the Knowledge Test?

Key topic areas on the Aeronautical Knowledge Test include:

• Applicable regulations relating to small unmanned aircraft system rating privileges, limitations, and flight operation
• Airspace classification and operating requirements, and flight restrictions affecting small unmanned aircraft operation
• Aviation weather sources and effects of weather on small unmanned aircraft performance
• Small unmanned aircraft loading and performance
• Emergency procedures
• Crew resource management
• Radio communication procedures
• Determining the performance of small unmanned aircraft
• Physiological effects of drugs and alcohol
• Aeronautical decision-making and judgment
• Airport operations
• Maintenance and preflight inspection procedures


How many questions are in the Part 107 test?

The Part 107 test comprises 60 questions. It is a multiple-choice test, with three single responses (A, B, and C) for each question.

What score do I need to pass the Part 107 test?

The minimum passing score is 70% (so you'll need to get 42 questions right).

How long do I have to take the Part 107 test?

Candidates are allowed two hours to take the test.

How much does the Part 107 test cost?

Centers charge approximately $150 to people seeking to take the initial aeronautical knowledge test.

FAA Part 107 - Flying AS A HOBBYIST

Do I Need To Be Certified?

A Guide To Flying Your Drone For Fun

Currently, if you are flying a drone in the USA as a hobbyist - ie, just for fun and not flying to make money - you do not need to be certified and do not need a drone license. This means that you do not need to sit the FAA Part 107 Test.

However, there are guidelines you need to follow. These include:

  • You must register your drone, mark it on the outside with the registration number and carry proof of registration with you.
  • You must fly a drone under 55 lbs, unless certified by a community-based organization.
  • Fly your drone at or below 400 feet above the ground when in uncontrolled (Class G) airspace. If you want to fly in controlled airspace (Class B, C, D, and E) you must obtain authorization. This can be done through LAANC, DroneZone, or a written agreement with the FAA for fixed flying sites. For more information about fixed flying sites, email UAShelp@faa.gov
  • Keep your drone within visual line of sight, or within visual line-of-sight of a visual observer who is co-located (physically next to) and in direct communication with you.
  • Do not fly at night unless your drone has lighting that allows you to know its location and orientation at all times.
  • Never interfere with manned aircraft.
  • Never fly over any person or moving vehicle.
  • Never interfere with emergency response activities such as disaster relief, any type of accident response, law enforcement activities, firefighting, or hurricane recovery efforts.
  • Never fly under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Do not operate your drone in a careless or reckless manner.

If you are flying your drone in a recreational capacity, be aware that if you intentionally violate any of these safety requirements, and/or operate in a careless or reckless manner, you could face criminal and/or civil penalties.

Hobbyists flyers are urged to be aware that changes are coming in the future. These changes will include the requirement for drone operators to pass an online aeronautical knowledge and safety test and carry proof of test passage. The FAA is also set to issue guidance for how it will recognize community-based organizations. According to the FAA website, these changes are being rolled out incrementally.

drone registration in the u.s.

Do I need to register my drone?

In the U.S, drone registration is required if your aircraft weighs between 0.55lbs (250g) and 55lbs (25kg).

To do this, visit dronezone.faa.gov and select Fly sUAS under Part 107 to create an account and register your drone. Have the make and model of your drone handy when registering.

Registration costs $5 and is valid for 3 years.

After registering, it is important that you mark your drone with your registration number in case it gets lost or stolen.

If your drone weighs more than 55lbs, you must use the paper (N-number) registration process.

Any pilot who has a drone meeting the registration criteria, but does not register, will be subject to civil and criminal penalties.