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Are you looking into how to renew your Part 107 license? The FAA has introduced a new and easier way for drone pilots to renew the currency of their Part 107 remote pilot certification.
In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know about renewing your Part 107 license, where to do it, and whether you need to take an exam or not.
The FAA Part 107 (also called a Remote Pilot Certification or Drone License) is a set of rules for commercially operating a drone in the US. It refers to the certification drone pilots must obtain before they can legally offer professional drone services and accept payment for these.
In other words, an FAA Part 107 drone license allows you to sell your aerial drone photography and videos or charge money for your drone services, such as mapping areas of land from an aerial perspective, collecting aerial data, conducting aerial inspections, and more.
Once taken the Part 107 remote pilot certificate or drone license, it technically never expires. However, the FAA requires drone pilots to keep their knowledge up to date every 24 months to be permitted to fly under their obtained certificate.
The major part of the knowledge renewal is related to flying your drone at night, over people, or over moving vehicles.
Generally, the part 107 testing changes are minimal, considering that the number of multiple-choice items is the same, the signing up process and the basic requirements to comply with are the same. The major changes to the knowledge test are related to the night operation rules that allow drone pilots to fly at night without a waiver.
Overall, the knowledge test will be updated to include certain topics and part 61 certificate holders should be familiar with them. The topics include:
Once they implement the testing changes, they will update the knowledge test as well. If you want to take the test, we recommend that you start preparing for these new topics.
While first-time commercial drone pilots will still need to follow the current process for Part 107 certification, renewals are now easier than ever before.
There are three courses to renew your license:
Under the previous regulations, certified pilots were required to take the assessment after every two years. The pilots were required to go to the facility for physical testing and pay a testing fee of $160.
Even with this, the validity of the privilege you obtained after passing the examination had a limited duration, and the testing was recurrent. The need to physically attend a testing facility and pay an additional $160 fee remains a huge inconvenience.
The big news is that under the new regulations, pilots are only required to complete an online recurrent training course which is completely free, and you no longer have to go to an FAA-approved knowledge testing center.
Instead, you can take the online course from the comfort of your home which is a big advantage for pilots in the commercial drone industry. And the renewal knowledge test is also shorter and takes approximately 2 hours.
With the new rules for night operations, the recurrent online training course will also include topics like night physiology and night illusions.
Additionally, the goal of this recurrent training is “allowing remote pilots to maintain critical knowledge and keep abreast of dynamic issues, including changes to regulations, that arise while ultimately completing the updated knowledge requirements related to operating small UAS.”
Once you finish the online course, you will receive a completion certificate which will replace the Airman Knowledge Testing Report (AKTR) to prove that your license remains valid.
Along with your pilot credentials, you must carry the completion certificate whenever you fly your drone for commercial purposes. The final ruling on the changes will be filed and will be available on the FAA website 45 days after publication.
Note: Drone pilots who do not hold the certification and want to operate under Part 107 must take the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Initial Aeronautical Knowledge Test at an FAA-Approved Knowledge Testing Center.
All you have to do is complete the Part 107 Recurrent Non-Part 61 Pilots online course. At the end of the online course, you’ll have 90 minutes to pass a 45-question examination that is usually called an “end-of-online training course knowledge test check.”
It’s an open book test and you can take the test as many times as you’d like. However, you’ll need to score a 100% result within one 90-minute sitting to get a Certification of Completion.
Once you’ve completed the online training course and passed the recurrent knowledge test, remember to print your Completion Certificate. You must bring this with you when you operate your device.
In addition, the FAA recommends carrying your most recent results so that you can prove that your knowledge is up to date if questioned.
Under the new rules, the list of representatives authorized to request your Part 107 certification documentation has also been updated. Apart from the FAA representatives, NTSB representatives, local levels, and any law enforcement officer from the federal state can ask for your Part 107 documentation and ID.
However, this is not an issue if you normally carry your documentation wherever you fly, including the drone maintenance records and logbook.
Considering that the implementing rules for Remote ID were announced simultaneously with these amendments. Additionally, the Remote ID is not required to verify that your online recurrency training is valid.
However, it's important to know that the rolling out of the Remote ID implementation will continue gradually. In the end, all drones will require to have the Remote ID to fly outside FRIAS, whether you fly recreationally or commercially.
Drone aerial photography is one of the more powerful ways real estate agents and Realtors can make their listings stand out.
Today, homebuyers start their search online, looking at sites like Zillow, single property websites, or social media to browse for listing images to find their perfect home.
This has created a massive demand for drone
That being the case, real estate agents and their photographers are increasingly turning to drones to capture some of their most spectacular listing photos.
The new recurrent training course is a welcome change for pilots who have long been dreading taking the recurrent knowledge test. If you’ve already taken your images, you can make your aerial photo look impressive through professional post-processing or editing.
Drone photography is a great addition to any real estate photographer’s portfolio and will allow you to charge a few hundred extra dollars on every shoot.
But no matter how good of a photographer you are, your images have to be edited to look top-notch. Luckily, PhotoUp’s editing experts can take any aerial photo or video and make it truly stunning.
Drone pilots are in high demand right now and that demand is expected to keep increasing in the years to come, making it even more important to renew your license every 24 months through the online training.
In conclusion, it’s up to you as a pilot to know the rules of the sky, and where it’s safe to fly or not. Further, it’s also your responsibility to take the online training and bring the Completion license with you whenever you fly to prove that your knowledge test is current.