Are you interested in becoming a commercial drone pilot but are unsure if you need to obtain a Part 107 license? To operate as a professional drone pilot, it’s imperative to have a strong understanding of the FAA regulations and requirements. Getting your Part 107 license is an important step that can open doors when it comes to utilising drones for business purposes. In this blog post, we’ll answer the question, “Do I need a Part 107 license?” and explore how you can obtain this license and what you can do after you have passed the test.
Do I Need A Part 107 License?
The FAA Part 107 license (or certificate) is a requirement for operating a drone for commercial purposes in the United States. This license is necessary for individuals or companies who wish to use drones for activities such as aerial photography, videography, real estate inspections, and crop monitoring, among others.
The FAA Part 107 license involves passing an aeronautical knowledge test and completing a background check. The test covers topics such as airspace classification, weather, and emergency procedures. Once the license is obtained, it is valid for two years and must be renewed every 24 months.
There are several reasons why obtaining a Part 107 license is essential for commercial drone operators:
Safety: The FAA is responsible for ensuring the safety of aircraft and individuals on the ground. By obtaining a Part 107 license, operators demonstrate that they have the knowledge and skills to safely operate a drone in the national airspace.
Legality: Operating a drone for commercial purposes without a Part 107 license is illegal and can result in fines and penalties. Obtaining a Part 107 license ensures that the operator complies with federal regulations.
Competitive Advantage: With the increasing popularity of drones in various industries, having a Part 107 license can give operators a competitive advantage by demonstrating their knowledge and skills to potential clients.
Access to airspace: With a Part 107 license, operators are allowed to fly in Class G airspace without seeking permission from the FAA. Drone operators can also fly at night (as long as the drone has an anti-collision beacon) and fly over people and moving vehicles. In addition, with a waiver, operators can also fly in airspace that is restricted or prohibited.
Overall, obtaining a Part 107 license is essential for individuals and companies wishing to operate drones for commercial purposes in the United States. It ensures compliance with federal regulations, demonstrates knowledge and skills, and can help mitigate liability.
Do Recreational Drone Pilots Need The Part 107 License?
As has been established, the FAA Part 107 license is only a requirement for drone pilots who want to fly drones for commercial purposes.
Recreational drone pilots are not required to obtain the FAA Part 107 license. However, they must pass the Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST). This test has been developed by the FAA and leaders of the drone industry to ensure that recreational drone pilots operate drones safely. The test is administered by FAA-approved organisations and is taken online. Once the test is completed, pilots will get a certificate which they must always carry around whenever they are flying their drones.
However, I advise people to take the Part 107 test and obtain the license as you may want to make money with drones in the future.
How Long Does It Take To Study For The FAA Part 107 Test?
The amount of time needed to study for the FAA Part 107 aeronautical knowledge test can vary depending on an individual’s prior knowledge and experience with aviation. Some people may be able to pass the test with minimal studying, while others may need more time to prepare.
The FAA recommends that test takers study the FAA’s Remote Pilot Study Guide, which covers the material that will be on the test. FAA provides the study guide, and it’s free of charge.
On average, it’s recommended to dedicate around 20-30 hours of study time to prepare for the test, although this can vary depending on the person and their learning style. It’s also important to note that the test is timed, so it’s important to practice taking the test under similar time constraints to get an idea of how much time you need to complete it.
Although the FAA provides free material to prepare for the test, there are many courses that can enhance your chances of passing on the first go.
These courses provide a streamlined and structured approach that will make learning and understanding the fundamental concepts behind the Part 107 test easier.
These are paid courses and boast over 99% success rate with their students. One of the best courses for the Part 107 test is from the Pilot Institute. The course is delivered by experienced instructors who deeply understand the drone industry and its regulations.
The course consists of 15 hours of interactive video content and includes multiple practice tests and quizzes to help you prepare in the best possible way for the exam.
The company also offers a full refund should you fail to pass the test.
How Hard Is The FAA Part 107 Test?
The FAA Part 107 aeronautical knowledge test is considered to be a challenging test, as it covers a wide range of topics related to the operation of drones in the USA. The test is designed to evaluate an individual’s knowledge of the material and their ability to apply it rather than just memorising facts.
The test consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and is timed for 2 hours. The questions cover various topics such as airspace classification, weather, and emergency procedures. The passing score is 70%, which means the candidates must answer at least 42 questions correctly.
However, with proper preparation and studying, the test can be passed. As I have stated, purchasing a high-rated training course like the one offered by the Pilot Institute will enhance your chances of passing the first time around.
Can I Take The FAA Part 107 Test Online?
Unfortunately, the FAA does not provide any way for candidates to take the Part 107 test online due to various issues.
The FAA Part 107 aeronautical knowledge test can be taken in person at one of the FAA-approved testing centres. There are currently around 800 FAA-approved testing centres, so there’s likely a test centre near you.
How Much Does The Part 107 Test Cost?
The fee for the Part 107 test is currently $175, paid to the FAA, and is non-refundable. If you purchase a training course or additional reading material, that may cost an additional $100-$300. In total, you may spend around $175-$400 to pass the Part 107 test.
Though not every pilot needs a Part 107 license, having one gives you more flexibility to make money with your drone. Getting your license is relatively easy, and many resources are available to help you succeed. If you are serious about making money as a drone pilot, investing the time in getting your Part 107 license is worth it.