The Right to Fly a Drone Commercially

The FAA Proposed Part 107 is coming: the right to fly a drone commercially without a Pilot’s License.

Many unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) owners want to fly their drones commercially but so far the only way to do so in the USA under FAA regulations requires a pilot’s license and secondly a 333 exemption.

[New introductory video for Phantom Knowledge]

The FAA has been working for over a year on a new set of rules (called Part 107) for flying commercially.  From what we know from the Summary of Major Provisions of Proposed Part 107: the certification will allow people to fly their drones without an airworthiness test and will not require a pilot’s license.  The UAV must be under 55 lbs., in line of sight, not to fly over people, day-time-only flights, maximum altitude of 500 ft. and have a maximum speed of 100 mph.  Operators will be required to pass an aeronautical knowledge test every 24 months, be vetted by the Transportation Security Administration, preform pre-flight inspections and report any accidents to the FAA within 10 days of an accident.  There are rumors that the Part 107 rules will be finalized by June, 2016.

New businesses are cropping up which help drone pilots connect with customers.   The people at www.DroneBase.com are developing a database of clients around the USA who want high quality photos or video from drones.  DroneBase matches their clients with drone operators who have applied to be a DroneBase pilot and have passed their exam.  Currently, DroneBase pilots must have an FAA 333 exemption to complete jobs for DroneBase.  Once the Part 107 goes through jobs will be main available to other pilots who have acquired the new certification.  DroneBase includes insurance for their clients, which for small business drone pilots is a very important factor.

All this is good news for those who want to fly commercially.  Some of the areas in which drone pilots can make money include:  wedding photography and videography, TV and film productions (B-roll footage), mapping services, crop management, travel destinations and the huge real estate market.