Drone technology has been changing the way we work in a number of areas. With the rise in demand for all things drone, there has been increased interest in commercial use. Pilots interested in flying commercially need to be responsible operators and obtain the necessary training to become a qualified pilot.
Currently, the United States alone has over 100,000 certified commercial drone pilots and as more enterprises continue to adopt drone technology, the demand for skilled pilots will continue to grow.
According to Business Insider, drone services are projected to rise to almost 64 billion by 2025. Of course, none of this would be possible without pilots which do everything from collecting visual, LiDAR and thermal data to capturing distinct photos and video. Drones also have many safety advantages, helping keep workers safe by acting as first-responders and allowing them to explore dangerous and hard to reach areas.
There is an extensive list of industries that rely on drones to achieve their job. Most prevalent sectors include mapping and surveying, construction, public safety, entertainment, real estate, insurance, building inspections, archeology and agriculture.
If you’re wondering if you need to obtain a commercial drone license the answer is most likely yes… Any time you fly for profit requires you to have a commercial license. While clarifications between recreation and commercial use vary from country to country, registration of some level is required to join the pilot community.
Depending on your goals, the path from certification has the potential to lead to a fledgling career. Whether you want to fly part-time or go the full entrepreneurial route, the options are there. There are full-service drone companies, companies that help pilots find drone jobs, as well as typical vacancies in aerial photography, real estate, property insurance and other more technical avenues.
Understanding the rules and regulations are the first step in flying commercially. In the U.S. the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for regulating the national airspace. The FAA classifies drone pilots into three categories: hobbyists, commercial users and government users.
Determining which classification you fall under will allow you to understand what rules are applicable for your flying. Generally, hobbyists have a lower level of oversight compared to the other two classifications.
To fly commercially in the U.S. you need to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate by taking the Part 107 test. You must be at least 16 years of age, be proficient in English and mentally and physically fit to be eligible. The test covers multiple subjects, some of which include operating requirements, effects of weather, emergency procedures, maintenance and more.
Once a pilot has passed the test they should register in the FAA IACRA system to receive their certificate. Drone pilots should keep this certification in an accessible place when working with drones at all times.
Receiving your Part 107 to start flying commercially is extremely important. Part 107 prepares you to understand how to fly safely and opens the door to a number of opportunities.
Check out our video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJmU8y2m8jw for more information or reach out to us with any questions you may have. You can also visit the FAA’s website for more information: https://www.faa.gov/