Drone Laws

FAA Drone Rules: What You Need to Know to Fly Commercially

If you’re looking to operate a drone for business purposes, you will want to be up-to-date on the FAA drone rules. Before August 2016, any company that wanted to use a drone needed a pilots license to fly that drone. Now that the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) put new rules in place, you no longer have to request special permission from the federal government for commercial drone use (cool, right?). There are, however, a lot of constraints that still exist for commercial flyers.

Here’s what you need to know:

What is considered commercial use?

The FAA says that commercial use is any time a pilot flies for government, commercial or other non-hobby uses. For example:

  • Selling photos or videos taken by a drone
  • Providing contract services (like site inspections)
  • Using a drone to monitor work

What are the FAA drone rules for commercial use?

  • Must be at least 16 years of age
  • Must pass the Aeronautical Knowledge Test (a.k.a Part 107 Exam, Airman Knowledge Exam, Remote Pilot Knowledge Exam)
  • Obtain an Unmanned Aircraft Operator Certificate with a sUAS rating (does not expire)
  • Aircraft must be registered with the FAA

Who can benefit from these rules?

Real estate agencies, aerial/wedding photographers, construction companies, insurance industries, or any other business that uses drones for basic everyday functions will benefit most from these rules.

What are the constraints?

The FAA drone rules present many benefits for businesses, and although you may not have to wait a month to get special permission from the federal government, you still have to be sure to know your limits. Some constraints are:

  • Flying at night
  • Flying over 100 mph
  • Flying higher than 400 feet above the ground
  • Operating over crowds
  • Flying from a moving vehicle
  • Flying beyond line of sight
  • Operating in restricted airspaces
  • Operating multiple small unmanned aircraft systems

For more information on how to fly a drone or to learn about our Part 107 courses, call us at 800-264-3907. Happy (and safe) commercial flying!


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