Finally – Some Reasonable US Drone Regulations!

June 24th, 2016

DJIPhantom3This last Tuesday, (June 21) the FAA announced the long awaited Part 107 Rule. Here is the FAA press release. The entire Part 107 Rule is 624 pages if you are having trouble getting to sleep. The 3-page summary is much more useful. This new process goes into operation in late August 2016.

I think that the real estate photography community is one of the big winners in the implementation of this new set of regulations because the benefits of drone photography and video are huge, the technical hurdles are low and so far it’s been the regulatory hurdles that have slowed the industry. These new rules fix that. No more pilots license required to legally fly a drone for commercial use. You need to take a test but that is reasonable.

There have been a lot of articles around the net analyzing these new regulations. Here are just some of them:

I’m still completely puzzled why the FAA couldn’t have done this two or more years ago!

Share this

15 Responses to “Finally – Some Reasonable US Drone Regulations!”

  • Hi Larry – have you been able to find a website for these FAA testing centers? Or has anyone else? I can’t seem to find any info on the testing centers.



  • @Cindy -I’ve not seen any details about testing centers etc… I think they are scrambling to get there and will probably be late.

  • “I’m still completely puzzled why the FAA couldn’t have done this two or more years ago!”

    Actually, the NPRM was published, commented, reviewed and new rules published in bureaucratic light speed. I’ve seen simpler NPRM’s take 8-years to be finalized as new rules. The reason it seems to take so long is because, in the case of Part 107, there were actually many FAA rules that needed to be changed while creating Part 107: 14 CFR Parts 21, 43, 61, 91, 101, 119, 133, and 183. In addition other executive departments needed to make sure the new rule wasn’t contrary to international ICAO treaties. Also, every comment to the NPRM had to be responded in the final rule. I am pleased to report that some of my comments were adopted in the final rule. (I toot my own horn in my blog). Most significantly, getting rid of the double identification proposed in the original NPRM.

    Cindy: There are some 700 testing centers in the US. Many at General Aviation airports. Here’s the list:

    But it is premature to go there yet as the rules won’t be finalized until late August.

    Here is a link to the FAA site describing how to get your Remote Pilot Certificate:

    There is also a course/test on the FAA’s website that while it is for Part 61 certified pilots, anyone may take it now. It won’t replace the actual exam, but it will give you an idea of the kind of questions the FAA will be asking.

    Steve Mann

  • Here is a link to the page on the FAA site that has a PDF of the test sites. About half way down under “Application Process” there is a link to a PDF file called “Knowledge Testing Centers” which has all the testing locations in the US by state.

  • Larry – Thanks for the link!

  • Fly your drone over my house and I will shoot it down. How do I know if it is a photographer, joe the plumber, or someone from the NSA/FBI/CIA/Competitor/ETC. Wake up folks, we live in a police state, they are surveiling you with your phones, your computer, satelites and now with drones. The government has no right to spy on me in my home, I will defend my privacy.

  • Rohnn. FYI it is a federal crime to shoot down “any” aircraft in FAA controlled air space, including drones. If you want to go to federal prison, be my guest, shoot down someone’s drone.

  • @ Larry: Hide behind the law to violate someones privacy, proves my point about the police state. FYI, recently, my wife was walking our dogs on our property and she was being followed/filmed by a drone. Thats okay with you? NoFingWay, meathead.

  • Insults are not necessary because you disagree with the law. I was merely pointing out that it is a federal crime. If you want to be stupid and shoot down someones drone then more than likely your wife will be visiting you in prison. If you don’t like this country you are free to leave it.

  • Great thread minus the “big brother” comments. Let’s continue to discuss the implementation of the new rules and stay away from the Yosemite Sam comments like…” Ima gonna shoot that darn flying robot down”. Drones are pretty cool but if big brother wanted to spy on you, he would use a drone.

  • Not…use a drone

  • While not tolerating the Yosemite Sam attitude, I have wondered about the distinction of “hobbyist” and a person with a pilot license, or as now called “Remote Pilot Certificate.” Interfere with a hobbyist and local assault charges mighty apply. However interfere with “pilot in command” responsibilities of someone with a federal license/certificate would federal anti-hijacking laws apply. That could be quite a shock for the people with the Yosemite Sam attitudes.

  • Does anyone knows what is the exact textbook they will base the exam on for a certificate? Thank you!

  • I have seen a lot of documentation about the changes and why, but where can I find what I need to know/study for the test?

  • @Rick – here’s one option: I’m sure there will be many others. This stuff is just getting off the ground.

Comments RSS

Leave a Reply