On the 1st of January 2017, the FAA released their list of active pilots. Three States enjoy concentrations of Part 107 remote pilots they are California (2308), Florida (1783) and Texas (1652).
Click the map below to see how many folks are in competition with you in your state! It takes a little time to load.
To become a commercial drone pilot in America candidates need to
- Be at least 16 years old
- Be able to read, speak, write, and understand English (exceptions may be made if the person is unable to meet one of these requirements for a medical reason, such as hearing impairment)
- Be in a physical and mental condition to safely operate a small UAS
There is then a very straight forward Part 107 test that costs $150 and occurs at Airman Knowledge Testing Centres located throughout America. It must be simple, all of us at sUAS News have passed it!
Everything required is found on the FAA website. There are numerous other online resources including one from our own legal eagle Jonathan Rupprecht’s.
The Remote Pilot Certificate will allow you fly platforms weighing less than 55lbs. There are some restrictions as to where you can fly. These can be reduced with waivers.
It’s not a golden ticket, though, one that will guarantee success, you need to have a sensible business plan to go with it.
Patrick summed it up well recently.
“Sure, it has taken a long time, and no the process hasn’t been perfect. However, the FAA has given us clear guidelines to work within and also set up a website to apply for Certificates of Waivers as well as authorization to fly in controlled airspace. Being King of the sceptics, I was concerned that we might be subject to fits and starts but by-in-larger and to their credit the FAA was able to pull it all off promptly and without major hiccups. At this point, the olive branch is extended, and I am offering an apology to the Administrator (and staff) for doubting his commitment to sUAS NAS integration.”