Do You Need a Part 107 License to Make Money With a Drone

Do You Need a Part 107 License to Make Money With a Drone?

In the rapidly evolving arena of unmanned aerial systems, commercial drone operators are bound by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.

A Part 107 license emerges as a pivotal requirement for those aiming to monetize their drone operations.

Summary – Do You Need a Part 107 License to Make Money With a Drone?

To make money with a drone, you need a Part 107 license as required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for commercial drone operations. This certification ensures compliance with FAA regulations and promotes safe, legal revenue-generating activities.

This article demystifies the necessity of the Part 107 certification, outlines eligibility criteria, and explores the operational confines for licensed pilots, while highlighting the advantages of obtaining this credential for professional credibility and business growth.

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Part 107: Why needed for commercial drone work

A Part 107 license is mandatory for commercial drone pilots to ensure compliance with FAA regulations and to facilitate safe and legal revenue-generating activities.

This certification distinguishes between hobbyists enjoying flight in their backyard—referred to as recreational flying—and those leveraging drones for tasks such as real estate videography or agricultural surveys.

While recreational pilots operate under a different set of guidelines that are less stringent, the Part 107 license is crucial for professionals seeking to tap into the burgeoning drone industry.

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Drone safety is paramount, and the regulations tied to the Part 107 license embody this principle. They ensure that every commercial drone pilot has undergone a comprehensive drone pilot training program.

This training equips them with the know-how to navigate the complexities of the airspace and to handle their drones responsibly.

Understanding these rules helps minimize risks to people, property, and other aircraft.

Furthermore, as the drone industry grows, consistent regulation becomes increasingly important to maintain order and safety standards.

The Part 107 license is at the heart of this regulatory framework, supporting the responsible expansion of commercial drone use while fostering trust in drone technology among the general public.

Part 107 drone pilot taking thoery test

Profit with drone: No Part 107 license allowed

Attempting to earn profits through drone operations without possessing a Part 107 license is prohibited under FAA regulations.

Individuals who engage in commercial drone operations must adhere to the legal requirements set forth by the FAA, which include obtaining proper certification.

The drone licensing process is designed to ensure that those conducting such operations have the necessary knowledge and skills to do so safely and legally.

For example, selling aerial photos or videos, providing surveying services, or delivering products all fall under the umbrella of commercial drone operations.

Even if you fly a drone as a hobbyist and later decide to sell your footage, this retroactively classifies your flight as commercial, thus requiring a Part 107 license.

Ignoring these drone regulations can result in significant penalties. The FAA guidelines are clear: any drone activity that has the intent to generate income requires a Part 107 license, without exception.

It’s essential to understand that the distinction between recreational and commercial drone use is based on the intent behind the flight, not the act of compensation itself.

Therefore, anyone considering using a drone to support a business venture must first complete the drone licensing process to comply with FAA rules.

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Eligibility: Requirements for Part 107 drone license

To qualify for a Part 107 license, applicants must meet specific criteria set by the FAA, including age, language proficiency, and health standards.

Aspiring drone pilots must be at least 16 years old, ensuring they have the maturity needed to comprehend and follow aviation rules.

It’s also required that they can read, write, and communicate in English, the standard language for aviation materials and instructions.

Furthermore, the physical and mental condition of applicants must be such that they can safely manage the intricacies of drone operations.

This is crucial because piloting a drone requires a clear mind and a steady hand, much like driving a car requires alertness and focus.

The application process for the Part 107 license involves passing an aeronautical knowledge test, which assesses understanding of FAA regulations and safe flying practices.

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Think of it as the drone equivalent of a driver’s license test—just as you need to know the rules of the road, you must know the rules of the sky.

After passing the test, candidates complete an online application and undergo a background check.

This step is akin to a job interview’s background check, ensuring the safety of the commercial drone industry.

Upon approval, pilots receive their license and can legally fly drones for profit.

Federal aviation administration building

FAA Rules: Limits on Part 107 license holders

While Part 107 license holders are authorized to use drones for commercial purposes, they must adhere strictly to FAA-imposed limitations concerning operational scope, safety, and airspace access.

These rules are designed to ensure that the integration of drones into the national airspace system does not compromise public safety or the operation of manned aircraft.

Here are three key limitations that Part 107 license holders need to be aware of:

  1. Night operations: While night flying is possible, pilots must have their drones equipped with anti-collision lighting visible for at least 3 statute miles. Additional training is also required to ensure safe operations after dark.
  2. Flying over people: Operations over people are not freely permitted. There are categories and criteria that dictate when and how drones can fly over individuals not directly involved in the operation, often requiring a waiver.
  3. Airspace authorization: Pilots must obtain prior authorization before flying in controlled airspace. This process involves submitting a request through the FAA’s LAANC system or obtaining a waiver.

Safety inspections before flights are crucial and should follow a standard checklist to verify the drone’s readiness.

These regulations, while seemingly restrictive, are designed to protect both operators and the public, enabling industries such as real estate, agriculture, and film production to safely benefit from drone technology.

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Benefits: Part 107 license for business and credibility

A Part 107 license significantly boosts a drone operator’s business prospects and professional reputation by evidencing compliance with FAA regulations and proficiency in aerial operations.

Prospective drone operators eyeing the expansive market demand in sectors like real estate, infrastructure inspection, and creative media should consider the license a gateway to these lucrative business opportunities.

It’s a mark of credibility that assures clients of an operator’s commitment to safety and legal operations.

Being licensed means more than just permission to fly for profit; it tells clients that you’re serious about your craft and versed in the complexities of national airspace.

For a real estate agent seeking stunning aerial shots, or a construction manager needing detailed site surveys, a Part 107-certified pilot stands out as a trusted professional.

Moreover, the credibility earned from holding a Part 107 license can lead to repeat business and referrals.

Satisfied clients are likely to recommend a certified drone operator, knowing they adhere to FAA regulations and deliver quality work.

This certification becomes an essential tool for operators to expand their service offerings and adapt to the evolving demands of the drone services marketplace.

Practicing Flying A Drone For Part 107

Maintenance: Renewals and ongoing duties for Part 107?

Holding a Part 107 license for commercial drone operations necessitates adherence to specific renewal processes and ongoing responsibilities to remain compliant with FAA regulations.

The renewal process is a critical aspect of maintaining your status as a remote pilot and involves completing recurrent training to ensure the recency of aeronautical knowledge.

Here are the key elements of maintaining your Part 107 license:

  1. Recurrent Training: Every 24 months, Part 107 license holders must complete an online training course to refresh their knowledge of regulations, operating requirements, and safety procedures.
  2. Documentation: Upon completing the recurrent training, pilots receive a certificate that they must carry along with their Part 107 certificate when conducting commercial drone flights.
  3. Consequences of Non-Compliance: Failing to complete the training within the required timeframe can lead to severe penalties, including fines and potential imprisonment. Additionally, pilots must retest after expiration if they do not renew their knowledge recency in time.

Not keeping up with these requirements can undermine your credibility and eligibility to operate commercially.

Simple, timely actions can prevent the hassle of retesting and ensure uninterrupted commercial drone operations.

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In conclusion, the Part 107 license is a mandatory certification for conducting commercial drone activities.

Complying with the Federal Aviation Administration’s regulations not only enables legal profit-making through drone operations but also enhances a business’s reputation and credibility.

By adhering to the renewal process and ongoing responsibilities, Part 107 license holders maintain the legitimacy of their operations and contribute to the safety and integrity of the national airspace.

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