For drone flying, do I need a drone license? This might surprise you if you’re considering purchasing a drone or have already done so. We will answer this question.
To fly a drone, you require a certificate but not an FAA license. A TRUST certificate is necessary for anyone flying a drone for fun, and a Part 107 certificate (also known as a drone pilot license) is required for business drone operators.
Continue reading for all the information you require regarding drone licensing.
What is a Drone Licence and Who Needs One?
Formal permission from the CAA, more commonly referred to as a drone license, essentially allows you to fly a drone in the UK is subject to specific rules. The CAA has made it a condition that drones must be used safely and in accordance with its rules.
The Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) license is the most widely used license, though this is expected to change as part of the new EU regulations that go into effect on December 31, 2020.
When the new regulations come into effect, there will essentially be two types of “licenses” available to drone operators; an A2 Certificate of Competency (A2 CofC) and Operational Authorization (obtained by completing a GVC drone training course).
How Do I Get a Drone Licence?
An Operational Authorization is typically obtained by passing a General Visual Line of Sight Certificate (GVC) drone training course and submitting a sufficient risk assessment, or by applying in accordance with a Pre Defined Risk Assessment (PDRA). Once you have completed the course and received a passing grade, you can apply to the CAA for operational authorization and start or continue your commercial operations.
You must finish an Operations Manual and successfully complete the theory and practical flight assessments in order to pass the course.
A training course is also necessary to earn an A2 CofC, which only requires passing an online theory test.
A CAA-approved training provider, HALO Drones offers classes online and at various locations throughout the UK.
Read More: How To Get A Drone License?
What Qualifies as Commercial Drone Use?
Any drone flight operations that result in direct compensation or used to advance any business can be considered commercial use and will require a drone license. The use of drones for commercial purposes is usually fairly obvious; getting paid to photograph a wedding or survey a construction site are two clear examples.
Making such a distinction might not always be straightforward, though, in some situations. You cannot use aerial photographs of your own home to try to market it online if you’re trying to sell it without a drone license. Similarly, if you run a construction company and use a drone to keep an eye on your operations on the ground, you should be careful. Even law enforcement is not exempt from this requirement, as they too need a licensed drone pilot to use drones for search and rescue or surveillance missions.
One more thing to keep in mind is that the FAA mandates that the purpose of the drone operations be specified prior to takeoff. As a result, you cannot take aerial photos during a leisurely flight and then sell them when a potential customer shows up. Additionally, if you receive any form of payment for posting them on social media, you are not permitted to do so.
Even those who already possess a drone license and are flying in accordance with Part 107 regulations must remain up to date on regional drone laws. Even though some of these state or local laws conflict with FAA regulations, it would be unwise to get involved in this sort of situation.
Difference Between a Drone Registration and a Drone Licence
Which certifications you need, if any at all, depend on how and where you use your drone. But regardless of whether or not you need a drone “licence”, most drone users will need to be registered to fly.
You must register for an Operator-ID, which costs $9 per year, if your drone weighs between 250g and 20kg. This holds true for any camera-equipped drone weighing less than 250g as well. According to the rules, your Operator-ID must be visible on each drone you own.
A Flyer-ID must also be obtained, and every three years, a 40 question multiple choice exam must be passed if your drone weighs between 250g and 2kg.
The Drone and Model Aircraft Registration and Education Service, or DAMARES portal, which was launched in November 2019 is now recognized as law.
Related Post: Should I Register My Drone?
Conclusion: Do I Need a Drone License?
My recommendation in this case is to check with that authority first before you travel if you intend to travel outside the scope of your current certification because each country has its own laws.
Normally, you only need a license to fly a drone when you receive any compensation for using it. If the drone weighs less than 0.55 lb., no license is needed to fly it for purely recreational and private purposes. or 250 grams it requires no registration.
Government agencies will be forced to enact stricter regulations that will be more difficult to adhere to and endanger the future of generations who want to learn drone flying if drone operators break the law and disregard the rules and guidelines.
Do You Need a License to Fly a Drone under 250g?
SUAs under 250g, such as the DJI Mini drones, do not need their pilots or the drone to be registered.
How Long Does a Drone Licence Last?
Depending on the license you receive, it will expire after 1 to 5 years, at which point you will have the option to renew it.
Is a Test Required to Get a Drone Licence?
The GVC and A2 CofC drone training programs both require you to pass a theory test.
You must also pass a Practical Flight Test in order to complete the GVC course.
Are There Different Types of Drone Licences?
Drone licenses come in two flavors: A2 CofC (Certificate of Competency) and Operational Authorization.
All commercial drone pilots and the majority of recreational drone pilots (depending on the type of drone you own and how you intend to fly it) must possess the A2 CofC license.
All commercial drone users are encouraged to obtain an operational authorization.