FAA Drone Regulations, Rules and Laws (FAA’s Part 107 Regulations)

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) framed new regulations for a non-recreational use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) – called as “Drones or Quadcopters”. When you fly a drone in the United States, it is your duty to know and abide the FAA Drone rules. In this article, I covered the detailed FAA Drone Regulations, Rules, and Laws.

FAA Drone Regulations, Rules and Laws (Part 107)

The small unmanned aircraft rule (FAA Part 107) are framed to minimize risks to other aircraft and people and property on the ground. The UAS users who want to fly for commercial use or fly for business must follow these rules and regulations. The rules don’t address using drones for delivery purposes.

Before the part 107 FAA Law, all federal laws governing aircraft were written to cover manned aircraft, not unmanned drones. In order to regulate the UAVs, FAA devised the small unmanned aircraft rule.

If you are a recreational drone user and wants to fly a drone / UAV as a hobby, then no need of any drone certification or drone pilot license to fly it. But the commercial drone users must get the drone pilot license.

The FAA claims that the drone rules could generate more than $82 billion and create more than 100,000 jobs over the next 10 years.

To become a drone pilot, you must get the drone pilot certification from FAA. Here is the step by step guide to get the drone pilot license (Study Materials Included).

And don’t forget to register your drone (If the drone weighs between 0.55 pounds and up to 55 pounds) before you start flying.

Drone Business Areas or Commercial Drone Usages

The UAS users who want to fly for commercial use must follow these rules and regulations. Here are some of the major commercial drone business areas,

  • Aerial surveying
  • Aerial photography services
  • Performing Roof inspections
  • Real estate photography
  • Construction Works
  • Agriculture and Farming
  • Filmmaking
  • Extreme sports
  • 3D mapping and modeling
  • Infrastructure inspection
  • Surveillance
  • Search and rescue services
  • Drone racing

Drone Operating Rules for Hobby Flyers (Personal drone laws)

Follow the below rules to fly your drone as a hobby. These safety guidelines help you to fly your flight under safety regulations. So that you will be away from legal problems and at the same time it provides safety for the general public.

  • Fly at or below 400 feet.
  • Give way to manned aircraft.
  • Be aware of airspace requirements.
  • You must keep your drone within sight.
  • Don’t fly the drone near other aircraft, especially near airports.
  • Never fly near emergency response efforts such as fires.
  • Never fly over groups of people, over stadiums or sports events.

FAA Drone Regulations (Part 107) Summary

Here is the summary of complete FAA drone regulations (FAA part 107)

FAA Drone Regulations – Operational Limitations

  • The unmanned aircraft systems must weigh less than 55 lbs.
  • The drone must remain within Visual line-of-sight (VLOS) of the remote pilot in command and the person who operating the flight controls.
  • Small unmanned aircraft may not operate over groups of people, over stadiums or sports events.
  • The drone regulations also state that don’t fly your drones at night. The Daylight operations or civil twilight (30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset, local time) only allowed.
  • As per part 107 regulations, you must give way to manned aircraft.
  • First-person view camera cannot satisfy “see-and-avoid” requirement.
  • The Maximum speed of flight is 100 mph (87 knots).
  • You can fly your drone at a Maximum altitude of 400 feet above ground level (AGL) or, if higher than 400 feet AGL, remain within 400 feet of a structure.
  • The minimum weather visibility to fly the unmanned aircraft is 3 miles from the control station.
  • Operations in Class B, C, D and E airspace are allowed with the required ATC permission.
  • The drone flying laws allowed operations in Class G airspace without ATC permission.
  • At a time, you are not allowed to operate two or more drones.
  • As per the drone law, you should not operate a drone from a moving aircraft. Also, the rule clearly stated that no operations from a moving vehicle unless the operation is a sparsely populated area.
  • As per part 107 regulations, you should not carry any hazardous materials in the drone.
  • Requires preflight inspection by the remote pilot in command.
  • A person may not operate a drone if he or she knows or has reason to know of any physical or mental condition that would interfere with the safe operation of a small UAS.
  • Foreign-registered small unmanned aircraft are allowed to operate under part 107 if they satisfy the requirements of part 375.
  • You can carry any payload in the unmanned aircraft provided the payload is securely attached and it should not affect the control of the drone.

Transportation of property for compensation or hire allowed provided that,

  • The drone (including the payload) weigh less than 55 pounds.
  • You should maintain a visual line of sight
  • You should not operate the drone from moving vehicle or aircraft.
  • The flight occurs wholly within the bounds of a State and does not involve transport between,
    • Hawaii and another place in Hawaii through airspace outside Hawaii.
    • The District of Columbia and another place in the District of Columbia; or
    • A territory or possession of the United States and another place in the same territory or possession.

Kindly note that for commercial purposes, you can waive the Small UAS rules by applying to FAA, provided you should demonstrate that your drone operation can safely be conducted.

FAA Drone Regulations – Remote Pilot in Command Certification and Responsibilities

You should establish a remote pilot in a command position.

A person operating a small UAS must either hold a remote pilot airman certificate with a small UAS rating or be under the direct supervision of a person who does hold a remote pilot certificate.

Note: To become a drone pilot, you must get the drone pilot certification from FAA. Here is the step by step guide to get the drone pilot license (Study Materials Included).

FAA Drone Regulations – Aircraft Requirements

  • FAA airworthiness certification is not required to fly a drone in the United States. But, the remote pilot in command must conduct a preflight check of the drone to ensure that it is in a safe condition to flight.

FAA Drone Regulations – Model Aircraft

  • The Part 107 does not apply to model aircraft that satisfy all of the criteria specified in section 336 of Public Law 112-95.
  • The FAA drone rule codifies the FAA’s enforcement authority in part 101 by prohibiting model aircraft operators from endangering the safety of the NAS.

Note:

Kindly note that for commercial purposes, you can waive the Small UAS rules by applying to FAA. Here is the complete summary of part 107 rules and regulations from FAA.

Drone No-Fly Zones in the United States

There are many types of airspace restrictions in the United States. It includes,

  • Airports
  • Restricted or Special Use Airspace
  • Stadiums and Sporting Events
  • Temporary Flight Restrictions
  • Wildfires
  • National Parks
  • NOAA Marine Protection Areas 

Check the detailed Guide to FAA’s Restricted No Drone Zone Areas.

Who Can Register a Drone at FAA?

Any US citizen who is above 13 years of age can register their drone at FAA. If you are a non-US citizen and like to go the US, then register your drone upon arrival at the airport.

Do I Need to Register My Drone?

You need to register your drone/ Unmanned Aircraft System if it weighs between 0.55 lbs. and up to 55 lbs.

In a Nutshell,

In order to regulate the UAVs, FAA devised the small unmanned aircraft rule. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) enclosed new regulations for non-recreational use of small unmanned aircraft systems – called as “Drones or Quadcopters”. When you fly a drone in the United States, it is your responsibility to know and abide the FAA Drone flying rules.

The small unmanned aircraft rule (FAA Part 107) are framed to minimize risks to other aircraft and people and property on the ground. The UAS users who want to fly for commercial use or fly for business must follow these rules and regulations. Hope the above guidelines helps you to understand FAA Drone Regulations, Rules, and Laws.

To become a drone pilot, you must get the drone pilot certification from Federal Aviation Administration. Here is the step by step guide to get the drone pilot license (Study Materials Included).

And you must register your drone (If the drone weighs between 0.55 pounds and up to 55 pounds) before you start flying it.

About the author

David Knox

David Knox is an FAA-certified drone pilot and I have been in this industry for 8+ years. With his long experience, he likes to help newbies and the professionals to find the best drones for their purpose so that they become a successful drone pilot and can enjoy flying the drones.

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