On June 21, 2016 the FAA published the final version of its small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) regulations commonly referred to as Part 107. These rules, set to take effect on August 29, 2016, clearly define how to operate your HoneyComb AgDrone System™ legally for commercial purposes in the United States.
No longer will you have to obtain a Section 333 exemption for commercial activities which have previously taken months for the FAA to approve. Now most commercial operations will comfortably fit within the framework of Part 107, which has removed many of the barriers by establishing a new certified Remote Pilot in Command (R-PIC) position and a remote pilot certification process. Anyone operating an AgDrone System™ must hold either a remote pilot airman certificate with a small UAS rating or be under the direct supervision of someone who does.
So what does it take to acquire your remote pilot certificate? For first-time pilots you must be at least 16 years of age and be able to read, write, and speak English. Applicants must pass the initial aeronautical knowledge exam administered at one of the many airman knowledge testing centers and complete FAA Form 8710-13 to receive a remote pilot certificate. If you already hold a current pilot certificate issued under 14 CFR Part 61 then you must complete the online training course “Part 107 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) ALC-451.” Along with receiving an R-PIC certificate you must register your AgDrone using the FAA UAS online registration.
The formalized FAA Part 107 rules are in-line with HoneyComb’s advised flight guidelines that require operation of your AgDrone System during daylight hours only, sUAS yield right of way to other aircraft, and maintaining visual line of sight of the AgDrone. While the initial proposed rules set the flight ceiling at 500 feet, this has been lowered to at or below 400 feet above ground level (AGL). In addition to these specific rules operators should, of course, always fly in a safe and responsible manner.
For more information regarding FAA Part 107 rules please use the links below.
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