drone flying license

Do You Need a License to Fly a Drone?

Thousands of new drones take to the air every day as more and more people buy these awesome gadgets. They are common sights in residential neighborhoods, and you will occasionally see them flying over public commercial settings. This influx of drones makes one wonder: do I need a license to fly one? The answer to this question depends on several factors. 

Recreational Drone Flying

Most people use drones for recreational purposes. You don’t need a license if all you are using the drone for is fun. However, you do need to register your drone with the Federal Aviation Administration if it weighs more than 0.55 pounds. Most mini drones and small drones for kids won’t need to be registered. You are also required to comply with the guidelines set by the community – some neighborhoods have set up regulations about how and where you can fly a drone because of privacy purposes. 

When flying your drone recreationally, you are required to observe some laws. The most important rule is to fly your drone away from airports and air traffic control towers – you should remain at least five miles from these installations. You should also avoid crowded public spaces and sensitive federal buildings. 

Commercial Flying

Drones are big business, and not just for drone makers but also for businesses that use them to make money. The FAA has been setting up laws on how to regulate commercial drone flying. Hence, anyone flying a drone for commercial purposes needs a remote pilot’s license. You should also register your drone with the FAA and apply for an airworthiness certificate for your drone. 

In addition to licensing, the FAA also has several other regulations for flying drones commercially. One of the most important rules is to keep a safe distance from federal buildings, schools, banks, and sensitive installations such as airports. The FAA also has strict rules on what you can and cannot record when flying the drone in public. It is important to comply with these laws, or else you will be penalized and face legal repercussions.   

Although there are strict laws about where you can and cannot fly your drone, you can apply for an exemption under special circumstances. However, you need to make a compelling reason for why you should be granted special discretion. 

Obtaining a Drone Flying License

Fortunately, it is simple to obtain a license for flying your drone for commercial purposes. The FAA has an efficient system in place. However, you will need to take a short FAA course. The course teaches you about everything that is required for you to use your drone for commercial purposes. After you are done with the course, the FAA will give you a test to determine your ability to fly the drone while following all the set rules. You will then be issued a license if you pass the test. 

Final Word

It is important to know what is required of you as a drone operator, or else you will find yourself in trouble with the FAA for breaching the rules. Make sure to stay updated on the rules and regulations since the FAA is always reviewing its laws. 

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