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Understanding FAA Part 107: Drone Pilot Certification

by Anshika Malik 20 Dec 2023
Drone Pilot Certification

In recent years, the drone industry has taken off, quite literally. Drones have become an integral part of various industries, from aerial photography to agriculture and even package delivery. As the popularity of drones continues to soar, so does the need for responsible and certified drone pilots. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has established guidelines and regulations to ensure the safe operation of drones in the national airspace. One crucial aspect is the FAA Part 107 certification, which every drone pilot must understand and obtain.

What is FAA Part 107?

FAA Part 107 refers to the set of regulations that govern the operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) for commercial purposes. In simpler terms, if you plan to use your drone for any business-related activity, whether it be aerial photography, surveying, or any other commercial application, you need to obtain a Part 107 certification from the FAA.

The FAA Part 107 certification is essential for several reasons. Firstly, it ensures that drone pilots have a basic understanding of the rules and regulations governing the national airspace. This knowledge is crucial for maintaining the safety of both manned and unmanned aircraft. Secondly, obtaining Part 107 certification opens up opportunities for drone pilots to legally and professionally engage in commercial activities, expanding their scope of work and potential income.

Understanding the Requirements:

To obtain FAA Part 107 certification, aspiring drone pilots must meet certain requirements set by the FAA. Here's a breakdown of the key prerequisites:

1.Age Requirement:

Pilots must be at least 16 years old.

2.English Proficiency:

Since aviation communication is predominantly conducted in English, applicants must be able to read, write, speak, and understand the English language.

3.Pass the Aeronautical Knowledge Test:

The aeronautical knowledge test is a comprehensive exam that covers various topics, including airspace regulations, weather patterns, emergency procedures, and more. It's essential to study thoroughly for this test to ensure success.

4.Submit to a TSA Security Screening:

All applicants must undergo a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security screening to ensure they do not pose a threat to national security.

5.Application Process:

After passing the aeronautical knowledge test and the TSA screening, applicants can submit their certification application through the FAA's Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) system.

Preparing for the Aeronautical Knowledge Test:

The aeronautical knowledge test is a pivotal step in obtaining Part 107 certification. It's essential to adequately prepare for this exam to ensure a smooth and successful certification process. Here are some tips for preparing for the test:

1.Study Materials:

Utilise FAA-approved study materials, such as the FAA's Remote Pilot – Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Study Guide. This guide covers all the topics included in the aeronautical knowledge test.

2.Online Courses:

Consider enrolling in online courses specifically designed to prepare candidates for the Part 107 exam. These courses often include practice tests, video lectures, and interactive learning modules.

3.Practice Tests:

Take advantage of practice tests available online. These tests simulate the actual exam environment and help identify areas that may require additional study.

4.Stay Informed:

Keep up-to-date with any changes to FAA regulations or exam content. The FAA may update its guidelines, and staying informed ensures that your knowledge is current.

Benefits of Part 107 Certification:

Obtaining FAA Part 107 certification offers numerous benefits to drone pilots:

1.Legal Compliance:

Part 107 certification ensures that drone pilots operate within the legal framework established by the FAA. This compliance is crucial for avoiding fines, penalties, or legal issues associated with unauthorised drone operations.

2.Expanded Opportunities:

With Part 107 certification, drone pilots can unlock a wide range of commercial opportunities. Industries such as real estate, construction, agriculture, and filmmaking often require certified drone pilots for various applications.

3.Enhanced Safety Awareness:

The aeronautical knowledge test covers topics related to airspace, weather, and emergency procedures. This knowledge enhances a drone pilot's awareness and contributes to overall safety in the national airspace.

4.Professional Credibility:

Part 107 certification adds a level of professionalism to a drone pilot's profile. Clients and employers are more likely to trust certified pilots for their projects, leading to increased job opportunities and higher earning potential.


In conclusion, understanding FAA Part 107 is crucial for anyone aspiring to become a certified drone pilot and enter the world of commercial drone operations. The certification process involves meeting specific requirements, passing the aeronautical knowledge test, and submitting to a TSA security screening. The benefits of Part 107 certification extend beyond legal compliance, offering opportunities for professional growth, expanded job prospects, and enhanced safety awareness.

As the drone industry continues to evolve, staying informed about regulations and maintaining a commitment to safety will be key for drone pilots seeking success in their careers. FAA Part 107 certification is not just a regulatory hurdle; it's a stepping stone towards a rewarding and responsible journey in the skies. So, buckle up, study hard, and take flight with confidence as a certified Part 107 drone pilot.

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Happy Flying!

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