Learn how FAA Part 107 certification empowers drone pilots for legal commercial operations. Discover what you can and can't do with and without this certification, including flight over people and altitude limits.
Drones have transformed how we capture images, map landscapes, and explore our surroundings. If you’re eager to take your drone skills to the professional level, the FAA’s Part 107 certification is your key to unlocking new opportunities. This certification is not just about legality but also safety and responsibility. Let’s delve into the significance of Part 107, explore what it allows and restricts, and understand its implications on various aspects of drone operations.
Unpacking Part 107 Certification:
Part 107 certification, issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), is a critical credential for individuals operating drones commercially. This certification ensures that drone pilots have the knowledge and expertise required to navigate aviation regulations, airspace management, and safety protocols.
What You Can Do with Part 107 Certification:
- Commercial Ventures: Part 107-certified pilots gain legal authorization for various commercial drone activities. Aerial photography, videography, mapping, and surveying are just a few of the opportunities available to certified pilots.
- Access Diverse Projects: Clients and businesses seek Part 107-certified pilots for their projects. This certification makes you an appealing choice for a wide range of projects, enhancing your versatility as a professional drone pilot.
- Enhanced Safety: Part 107 certification equips you with comprehensive knowledge of airspace regulations, weather considerations, and operational safety. This understanding significantly reduces risks, ensuring safer drone flights.
Flight Over People:
With Part 107 certification, you’re permitted to fly over people under certain conditions. However, these conditions emphasize safety. You can fly over people if they’re directly participating in the drone operation, located under a covered structure, or are separated from the drone by a protective barrier. Without your Part 107, you are not allowed to fly over people.
Flying Above 400 Feet:
Part 107 certification allows drone flights up to 400 feet above ground level (exceptions apply when around a structure). This altitude limit ensures airspace safety and prevents interference with manned aircraft. With a Part 107, exceeding this limit requires specific authorization from the FAA, which involves a separate process.
What You Can’t Do Without Part 107 Certification:
- Restricted Commercial Operations: Operating drones commercially without Part 107 certification exposes you to legal consequences and substantial fines. Certification is essential to comply with FAA regulations for profitable drone activities.
- Missed Professional Opportunities: Without Part 107, you limit access to commercial projects requiring certified pilots, potentially affecting your income potential and growth.
- Legal and Reputation Risks: Neglecting Part 107 certification not only violates the law but also damages your professional reputation. The FAA could investigate your activities, impacting your standing in the drone community.
Understanding Content Creation and Intent:
Your drone flights’ intent significantly matters in terms of regulations. While Part 107 primarily addresses commercial drone operations, recreational flying adheres to different rules (USC 44809). If you’re flying purely for fun, you can operate under recreational flying guidelines.
However, if you capture content with the intent to share it on platforms where you might indirectly benefit, it could be deemed commercial, even without direct payment. Grasping this distinction ensures compliance and avoids legal consequences.
In Conclusion: Elevate Your Drone Adventure with Part 107 Certification
Part 107 certification empowers your drone hobby to reach professional heights. It enables you to engage in commercial ventures legally, responsibly, and safely. Beyond expanding your opportunities and income potential, the certification emphasizes safety awareness, granting you the privilege to operate drones commercially. From awe-inspiring visuals to mapping projects, Part 107 certification transforms your drone flights into a thriving endeavor that respects regulations and skyward limits.
Remember, Part 107 certification isn’t just about earning a license—it’s about embracing the endless horizons of your drone journey.
*This info is from 2023 – check current information requiring Part107 for changes and updates.