Drones FAA & UAS Regulations

Drones are becoming a vital part of almost every professional photographer's business. It's important to remember that the Federal Aviation Administration is very serious when it comes to following the regulations it has set forth.

Overview of Rules and Requirements for Flying UAS for Work/Business

The outline below refers to federal regulations only. It is important to take into account any additional state or local restrictions or requirements.

Pilot Requirements:

  • Must be at least 16 years old
  • Must pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test (70% or higher) at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center* (~$150) A person who already holds a pilot certificate issued under 14 CFR part 61 and has successfully completed a flight review within the previous 24 months can complete a part 107 online training course at www.faasafety.gov to satisfy this requirement. Read more on becoming a small-drone pilot.
  • Must be vetted by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA)

Aircraft Requirements:

  • Less than 55 lbs.
  • Commercial Drone Pilots must be registered ($5 only!), while hobbyists don't need to

Operating Rules (all of which are subject to waiver):

  • Class G airspace
  • Must keep the aircraft in sight (visual line-of-sight)
  • Must fly under 400 feet
  • Must fly during the day
  • Must fly at or below 100 mph
  • Must yield right of way to manned aircraft
  • Must NOT fly over people
  • Must NOT fly from a moving vehicle

FAA Drone Regulations

Reviewing these FAA's drone regulations can seem daunting. Fortunately, you can find more resources to help you out. These include:

  • FAA Drone Regulation Quick Summary: Provided by the FAA, this document is a short, easy-to-digest guide to what's required of all drone operators before and after taking to the skies. Take a look at this summary from the FAA.
  • Full FAA Drone Regulations: As the titles suggests, this is the full FAA list of regulations when it comes to handling a drone. Learn more about FAA drone regulations.

Once you have these regulations down pat, you'll be safely and legally conquering the skies. Get started today by studying from PPA's library of resources and, when you're ready, locate and contact your testing center to register for you exam.

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