Part 107- What Drone Operators Need to Know

FAA Part 107

The FAA is planning on releasing Part 107 this Tuesday June 21st. A little birdy leaked some info to me and Part 107 provides for individuals to obtain their “Remote Pilot Certificate.” This is interesting as the NPRM called them operators but the FAA changed the term to pilot now. The big distinction now will be whether you are a Part 61 pilot or a Part 107 pilot.

Part 107 will provide a certificate as well as operating rules for drone operators who do not fall into Section 336 to operate their aircraft in the national airspace. The two main groups that will benefit will be the commercial drone operators and public sector operators.

A large majority of the drone operators will fall into Part 107 which will be line of sight, under 55 pounds, daylight, less than 100 MPH, and below 500ft; however this is not a complete fix for everyone as part 107’s NPRM says that Part 107 will not allow all sorts of operations. Below is a list and operations that would not fall into the 107 category but would need to be authorized via a Public COA or Section 333 exemption.  Contact me if you are interested in any of these types of operations.

  • Beyond Visual Line of Sight
    • Power line inspections in those really remote areas
    • SAR
  • Night Operations
    • SAR
    • Firefighting
    • Inspections using thermal equipment in hot environments
    • Cinematography for tv/movie scenes
    • Inspections on critical time/sensitive material (example: turbidity monitoring for dredging operations)
    • Sports
  • 55 pounds and heavier
    • Package delivery
    • Crop dusting
    • Firefighting retardant delivery
    • High-end LIDAR to monitor crops such as lumber. The LIDAR is used to detect the diameter of the wood so the loggers know which forest to harvest first.
    • Cinematography (Dual Red Epics for 3d filming or full Arri Alexa with lens and large stack of batteries for extra flight time.)
  • 500ft and higher
    • Large radio towers
    • Large bridges (Gold Gate Bridge is 746 feet above the water)
    • Large buildings (Inspecting the facade of large buildings and also the towers on top of the buildings).
  • 100 mph and faster
    • Survey large areas fast
    • Fast package/medical delivery
  • Operation Over Persons
    • Concerts
    • Live News Events
    • Sports
  • Operations from a moving vehicle
  • Aircraft conducting an external load operation (carrying stuff outside the fuselage).
    • Life preserver
    • Medical supplies
    • Tree lifting
    • Supply dropping
  • Any aircraft towing another aircraft or object
    • Banner tower
    • Glider tower