Archives for June 6, 2016

FAA & Drones What’s Really Going On?

summary by UAVSA

[note both the section 333 and the registration (N numbers) mentioned below are being organized by the campus MinerFly program]

For the past few years the commercial drone community has been holding its breath as the FAA, State, and local legislators try to navigate the law to allow drones to be the commercial engine that they can. The FAA is working on implementing part 107 [of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)] which will allow the education and registration for a commercial drone pilot without a manned pilots license. We keep hearing it is coming, it actually is, as there should be an announcement later this year.

Most of the confusion is not about being a pilot, it’s about everything else you need to legally be a commercial operator of a drone business. Part 107 which is contained in the NPRM issued last year is not going to eliminate the need for a company or government agency [public university] having either a 333 exemption or a certificate of authorization to legally operate, insure, and bond commercial operations for unmanned aerial systems.

Additionally, there’s been much confusion regarding the registration of aircraft, if you are not flying commercially you can go on the FAA website and register your drone for five dollars, if you are operating your drone commercially your aircraft must have an N Number, this is not the same as the five dollar registration for noncommercial users. Not only is the FAA website unclear regarding these issues, it has been very hard for individuals to even find the correct information.

To be perfectly clear, under part 107 as proposed you will be able to get an unmanned operator’s license, and you will not be required to have a manned aircraft pilots license (remember this is not the current requirement but is what is proposed to be enacted shortly). This does not eliminate the requirement for a 333 exemption for commercial operations or the requirement for N Numbers for your aircraft for commercial operations as a business.