Drone Regulations: Do You Need a License to Fly a Drone?
In the past, drones were relatively inaccessible to the average person. Today, however, virtually anyone has the capability to go about buying a drone. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t rules about where you can fly this device.
Let’s explore the key attributes of drone regulations and what you can expect from them.
Do I Need a License to Fly Commercially?
For those who are unaware, you will need a license if you wish to use your drone for commercial projects.
For example, it’s not uncommon for real estate agents to conduct aerial photography with a drone. This offers a fantastic point of view that can be virtually impossible to achieve otherwise.
Additionally, drones can be equipped with a high-quality camera to capture drone video footage at the highest possible resolution. However, there are many other potential commercial applications for using drones.
Regardless of how you intend to work, you’ll need to stay within drone regulations. This is true even for those who don’t actively profit from commercial activities. To clarify, let’s assume that you don’t charge people for your commercial services.
Since you are still flying a drone for a commercial purpose, you could be infringing on the law. Keep this nuance in mind so that you can avoid trouble in the future.
What About if I Want to Fly a Drone as a Hobby?
If you would like to fly a drone as a hobby and not commercially, you don’t need to obtain a remote pilot’s license. So, new drone pilots don’t have to worry about keeping their drone grounded until they receive their licenses.
However, you will need to pass a knowledge and safety exam. This is known as The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST).
This is required to fly a drone anywhere within the United States. Otherwise, similar legal consequences could occur compared to someone who flies commercially without a license. As you might guess, it’s also essential for you to carry proof that you pass this test while operating your drone.
This is especially true if you fly in areas with a large population density, as law enforcement officials may approach you to ask if you have this document.
What Happens if I Don’t Have a License?
If you don’t have a license, you could experience hefty fines. More specifically, the Federal Aviation Administration may charge you approximately $30,000 per incident. It should come as no surprise that the majority of scenarios do not even remotely justify incurring this fine.
The FAA also categorizes drone flight based on your intentions when the drone takes off. So, you can’t be performing a commercial activity and then suddenly say you were flying recreationally whenever law enforcement approaches you.
This eliminates many possible loopholes, as someone who is flying a drone recreationally would not outfit their drone with commercial equipment.
How Can I Get My Drone License?
Getting your license is relatively straightforward. It also allows you to operate a drone within all existing US states and territories.
First, you’ll need to study for your exam. Most participants often allocate 15 to 20 hours over a month-long period in order to prepare.
The exam itself is a 60-question test that participants get two hours to complete. All of the questions are multiple-choice, meaning you can avoid dealing with short response questions.
After you complete the test, you will immediately be notified whether or not you passed or failed. There are over 120 concepts included in this test.
Some of the most notable is how to fly a drone at night, weather and meteorology, and radio communications. Interestingly, you do not need to actually know how to fly a drone in order to pass the test.
This is simply an exam about all of the regulations and policies in place regarding drone usage. After you pass the test, you will need to apply online for a temporary certificate. You can use this to legally fly a drone until your official certificate arrives.
From here, you could use your drone commercially in a number of different growing industries. Looking for a high-quality drone with plenty of applications? You can check out this page to learn more about the DJI Mini 2.
What Else Should I Know?
You are required to renew your license every two years.
Even if it has only been one day since your current license expired, you can still be charged as if you did not have one at all. Having a license also does not allow you to fly within restricted airspace.
For example, airspace, where a military drone would operate, is an area you should avoid at all costs. Otherwise, you may be detained by military officials. There is also no guarantee that you will not suffer any consequences due to simply having a misunderstanding of airspace regulations.
The average cost for acquiring your drone license is less than $500. However, it’s important to understand you will need to allocate at least a few hundred dollars in order to do so. Keep this in mind so that you can budget for it.
Understanding Drone Regulations Is Essential
Otherwise, you may encounter legal issues in the future that can be difficult to overcome. The good news is that drone regulations are relatively straightforward and it isn’t difficult to adhere to them. Keep this in mind so you can avoid potential problems.
Looking for more tips that can help you out later on? Check out the rest of our blog for plenty of more useful information.