- Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Information
Regulations governing civil operations of UAS fall into three categories
- Operation solely for recreation or hobby purposes is governed by 14 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) part 101, subpart E, Special Rule for Model Aircraft;
- Operation of small UAS (sUAS) weighing less than 55 pounds, for other than recreation or hobby purposes, is governed by 14 CFR part 107;
- Operation of a UAS weighing 55 pounds or more requires an exemption under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform act of 2012 or Section 2210 of the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016.
Applicability of 14 CFR part 107
- The operation must be within the United States;
- The unmanned aircraft must weigh less than 55 pounds;
- Part 107 does not apply to any unmanned aircraft subject to the provisions of part 101.
The rules governing sUAS operated under part 107 include
- The aircraft must be registered if over 0.55 lbs;
- Must fly only in uncontrolled airspace;
- Must keep the aircraft in sight (visual line-of-sight);
- Must fly under 400 feet;
- Must fly during the day;
- Must fly at or below 100 mph;
- Must yield right of way to manned aircraft;
- Must NOT fly over people;
- Must NOT operate from a moving vehicle.
To receive a part 107 remote pilot certificate:
- Applicants must be at least 16 years old;
- Pass the initial aeronautical knowledge exam;
- Complete an on-line application.
Existing part 61 pilots
- Have completed a flight review within the previous 24 months;
- Complete the online training course on the FAA FAASTeam website;
- Complete an on-line application;
- Validate applicant identity.
Additional details may be found at Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)
The small UAS rule (14 CFR part 107) includes the option to apply for a certificate of waiver, which allows for a small UAS operation to deviate from certain operating rules if the FAA finds that the proposed operation can be performed safely under the terms of a waiver.
The following regulations are subject to waiver
- Operation from a moving vehicle or aircraft (§ 107.25). However, no waiver of this provision will be issued to allow the carriage of property of another by aircraft for compensation or hire;
- Daylight operation (§ 107.29);
- Visual line of sight aircraft operation (§ 107.31). However, no waiver of this provision will be issued to allow the carriage of property of another by aircraft for compensation or hire;
- Visual observer (§ 107.33);
- Operation of multiple small unmanned aircraft systems (§ 107.35);
- Yielding the right of way (§ 107.37(a));
- Operation over people (§ 107.39);
- Operation in certain airspace (§ 107.41);
- Operating limitations for small unmanned aircraft (§ 107.51).
Applications for a waiver to part 107 may be submitted through Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).
Part 107 Airspace Authorization/Waiver
If you want to operate under part 107 in controlled airspace (Class B, C, D, or surface area E), you must apply for an airspace authorization or airspace waiver:
- An airspace authorization is short term (up to 6 months) and grants access to a more limited operating area;
- An airspace waiver is longer term (6 months to 2 years) and grants access to a bigger operating area.
- You must provide additional information to justify the safety of your operation;
- FAA will take longer to process your request because more time is needed to perform a safety analysis.
Applications to operate under part 107 in controlled airspace may be submitted through Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).
Government UAS Operations
Government entities or organizations have 2 options for flying UAS:
- Fly under the small UAS rule – follow all rules under 14 CFR part 107, including aircraft and pilot requirements; or
- Obtain a blanket public Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) – permits nationwide flights in Class G airspace at or below 400 feet, self-certification of the UAS pilot, and the option to obtain a Special Government Interest COA (SGI COA) under special circumstances. Refer to FAA Order JO 7200.23, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), for more information related to SGI COAs.
- Contact to learn more about public COAs.
If you have a general question about UAS, please contact the FAA via email or call 844-FLY-MY-UA.