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Drone regulations

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

Rules and safety tips exist to help you fly safely in the national airspace, whether you are a new drone pilot or have years of experience. To begin, determine which type of drone user you are. Follow this article to learn about the rules and regulations that apply to your situation. Then you can start looking into where it is safe to fly and when you will need permission to do so.

kind of drone pilot.

Recreational Flyer and Modeler (Community-Based Organization)

The Small UAS Rule, 14 CFR Part 107, governs the operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drones weighing less than 55 pounds in the National Airspace System (NAS). There is a limited statutory exception that provides a basic set of requirements if you want to fly a drone for purely recreational purposes.

TRUST test (Traditional Recreational UAS Safety Test) is now available. Recreational pilots are encouraged to take and pass TRUST as soon as possible, and to keep proof of passage with them when flying.

What is the definition of a recreational flight?

Many people mistakenly believe that a recreational flight is one that is not operated for profit or for any other reason. However, this is not always the case. The amount of compensation, or lack thereof, does not determine whether the flight is recreational or commercial. The following information can assist you in determining which rules you should follow. Part 107 is the default regulation for drones weighing less than 55 pounds.

The recreational flyer exception only applies to flights taken solely for the

purpose of fun or personal enjoyment. If you are unsure, fly under Part 107.

Non-recreational purposes include things like photographing a property or service to help sell it, roof inspections, or photographing a high school football game for the school’s website. Indirect compensation can also include goodwill or other non-monetary value. Volunteering to use your drone to survey coastlines for a non-profit organization is an example of this. Recreational flight is simply flying for the sake of having fun.

What are the Recreational Flyer Rules?

The law that governs how, when, and where you can fly drones for recreational purposes is known as :

the Exception for Limited Operation of Unmanned Aircraft (USC 44809).

Following these guidelines will ensure the safety of people, your drone, and our airspace:

  • Flying is strictly for pleasure (enjoyment).
  • Follow the safety recommendations of an FAA-approved Community Based Organization (CBO).
  • Please note that we have not yet begun to recognize CBOs on a formal basis. Advisory Circular 91-57B directs recreational flyers to follow the safety guidelines of existing aeromodelling organizations or the FAA’s safety guidelines.
  • Use a visual observer who is co-located (physically next to) and in direct communication with you to keep your drone within visual line of sight.
  • Give way to manned aircraft and avoid interfering with them.
  • Fly in controlled airspace (Class B, C, D, and E) at or below 400 feet only with prior authorization from LAANC or Drone Zone.
  • In Class G (uncontrolled) airspace, fly at or below 400 feet.
  • Drones are not permitted to fly in certain areas of the airspace. Our B4UFLY app or the UAS Facility Maps webpage have a list of airspace classes and flying restrictions.
  • Take the TRUST Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) and keep a copy of your results.
  • Have a current registration, label your drones with the registration number on the outside (PDF), and keep proof of registration with you.
  • Do not fly your drone in an unsafe manner. As an example:
  • Interfere with emergency response or law enforcement activities as little as possible.
  • Do not fly if you are inebriated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Individuals who break any of these rules, as well as those who operate in a dangerous manner, may face FAA enforcement action.

Commercial operators, and certified remote pilots

You can fly for work or business with a small drone that weighs less than 55 pounds if you follow the Part 107 guidelines.

There are three main steps to flying under Part 107 rules:

Drone operators should avoid flying near airports because manned aircraft have a difficult time seeing and avoiding drones while in flight. Keep in mind that drone operators must avoid flying near manned aircraft and are responsible for any safety hazards their drone may cause at an airport.

Pass the Knowledge Test to Become an FAA-Certified Drone Pilot

You must meet the following requirements to receive your Remote Pilot Certificate:

  1. 16 years old or older
  2. Reading, writing, speaking, and understanding English
  3. To safely fly a UAS, you must be in good physical and mental shape.

Register your drone with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The registration fee is $5 and is good for three years. To register, you will need a credit or debit card, as well as the make and model of your drone. 

Always remember to fly your drone safely and in accordance with FAA guidelines and regulations. As a drone pilot, it is your responsibility to understand the rules of the sky and where it is and is not safe to fly.

Government and Public Safety

Law enforcement and other public safety agencies are in the best position to prevent, detect, and investigate unauthorized or unsafe UAS operations. While drones can be useful tools, these organizations must also protect the public from dangerous and unauthorized drone operations.

An important note to mention is that drone sales are increasing year after year, and an increasing number of people are embracing the idea of owning one. These unmanned aerial vehicles are now finding more practical and innovative uses and applications as a result of all the attention they have received.

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