A UAS is defined as “an aircraft that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft” (Public Law 112-95, Section 331(8)). A small UAS, as defined by statute, is an unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds (Public Law 112-95, Section 331(6)) and equipment necessary for the safe and efficient operation of that aircraft.
Yes. Congress defines a “model aircraft” as an unmanned aircraft that meets all of the following:
Part 107, also referred to as the Small UAS Rule, is a rule that will add a new part 107 to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) to allow for routine civil operation of small UAS in the NAS and to provide safety rules for those operations. This rule will replace the Section 333 Exemption requirement for commercial UAS operators.
There are three ways to operate UAS commercially (i.e. for work or business):
You may either operate under the Part 107 rule, or you may apply for a public Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) for certain operations.
No, but your unmanned aircraft must be registered if it weighs more than 0.55 lbs. If the aircraft is flown within five miles of an airport, you must notify the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower prior to flying. Also, airspace regulations may apply to the area you are operating in, which may require approval from the FAA to operate in those areas.
Part 107 does not apply to UAS flown strictly for fun (hobby or recreational purposes) as long as these unmanned aircraft are flown in accordance with the FAA’s Special Rule for Model Aircraft (Section 336 of P.L. 112-95).
The FAA anticipates that a knowledge testing center will charge approximately $150.
For reference, aeronautical charts and a Chart User’s Guide are available on the FAA’s website. These charts are the FAA’s official source of airspace classifications. You can also learn how to safely navigate UAS in controlled airspace by attending one of our UAS training courses.
Federal law requires that all aircraft (which includes UAS) flown outdoors must be registered with the FAA and marked with a registration number. UAS weighing more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds may register online. The weight limit includes everything on board or attached to the aircraft at the time of takeoff.
Unmanned aircraft flown for work or business must be registered individually, and each registration costs $5.
Failure to register an unmanned aircraft may result in regulatory and criminal penalties. The FAA may assess civil penalties up to $27,500. Criminal penalties include fines of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three years.
Flying a drone in a reckless manner is a violation of Federal law and FAA regulations and could result in civil fines or criminal action. If you see something that could endanger other aircraft or people on the ground, contact local law enforcement.