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FAA hits 100K Remote Pilot Certificates issued

FAA hits 100K Remote Pilot Certificates issued

Drones have really taken off! As of today, more than 100,000 enthusiasts have obtained a Remote Pilot Certificate to fly a drone for commercial and recreational (not qualifying as “model aircraft”) use since the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) small drone rule went into effect on August 29, 2016.

Under Part 107, the person actually flying a drone – formally an “unmanned aircraft system” (UAS) – must have a Remote Pilot Certificate, or be directly supervised by someone with such a certificate. The majority of drone pilots get certified by studying online materials (PDF) and then passing an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA approved knowledge testing center (PDF). You should have no trouble if you study – the exam success rate is 92 percent.

If you already have a Part 61 pilot certificate, and have completed a flight review in the previous 24 months, you have the option to take a small UAS online training course provided by the FAA to obtain your certificate.

It’s important to remember that a Remote Pilot Certificate is valid for two years from the date of issue. Anyone who earned their certificate at the end of August or in September 2016 should review the certification renewal requirements and prepare to take recurrent training or testing. You can find all the information you need to renew your certificate on FAA website.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States is a national authority with powers to regulate all aspects of civil aviation. These include the construction and operation of airports, air traffic management, the certification of personnel and aircraft, and the protection of U.S. assets during the launch or re-entry of commercial space vehicles.

The FAA’s roles include:

Regulating U.S. commercial space transportation

Regulating air navigation facilities’ geometric and flight inspection standards

Encouraging and developing civil aeronautics, including new aviation technology

Issuing, suspending, or revoking pilot certificates

Regulating civil aviation to promote transportation safety in the United States, especially through local offices called Flight Standards District Offices

Developing and operating a system of air traffic control and navigation for both civil and military aircraft

Researching and developing the National Airspace System and civil aeronautics

Developing and carrying out programs to control aircraft noise and other environmental effects of civil aviation

The FAA is divided into four “lines of business” (LOB). Each LOB has a specific role within the FAA.

Airports (ARP): plans and develops projects involving airports, overseeing their construction and operations. Ensures compliance with federal regulations.

Air Traffic Organization (ATO): primary duty is to safely and efficiently move air traffic within the National Airspace System. ATO employees manage air traffic facilities including Airport Traffic Control Towers (ATCT) and Terminal Radar Approach Control Facilities (TRACONs).

Aviation Safety (AVS): Responsible for aeronautical certification of personnel and aircraft, including pilots, airlines, and mechanics.

Commercial Space Transportation (AST): ensures protection of U.S. assets during the launch or reentry of commercial space vehicles.