FAA Regulations have recently changed and now require some UAV operators to be certified and all craft over .55 LBS must be registered.

Commercial operations fall under FAA Part 107.

Commercial operations are defined as any activity the “furthers” the business, this is a very broad definition and one must assume if you are using a UAV for anything remotely related to your career or business then you must comply with FAA Part 107. First Responder agencies have also been classified as commercial and as such the pilots must comply with the FAA regulations.

FAA Part 107 Basic Requirement

Pilot Requirements

• Must be at least 16 years old

• Must pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center+

• Must be vetted by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) +A person who already holds a pilot certificate issued under 14 CFR part 61 and has successfully completed a flight review within the previous 24 months can complete a part 107 online training course at to satisfy this requirement.

Aircraft Requirements

• Less than 55 lbs.

• Must be registered.

Operating Rules

• Class G airspace*

• Must keep the aircraft in sight (visual line-of-sight)*

• Must fly under 400 feet*

• Must fly during the day*

• Must fly at or below 100 mph*

• Must yield right of way to manned aircraft*

• Must NOT fly over people*

• Must NOT fly from a moving vehicle*

All of these rules are subject to waiver

First Responders can and should seek waivers for any operations that cannot be conducted under FAA part 107. Wavers such as night flight operations and flying over people are easily received, contact our support staff for more information.

It is also important to research and understand local and state regulations as they pertain to UAV use.

At least 38 states have considered legislation related to UAS in the 2016 legislative session. Sixteen states–Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin–have passed 29 pieces of legislation. Alaska adopted a resolution supporting the aviation industry and urging the governor to make state land available for use in the development of UAS technology. Delaware adopted a resolution expressing support for the development of many facets of UAS and the increased economic and training opportunities available within the FAA regulatory framework.

Alaska HB 256 requests the Department of Fish & Game evaluate the use of UAS for aerial survey work and report findings related to safety and cost-savings compared to manned aircraft.

Arizona SB 1449 prohibits certain operation of UAS, including operation in violation of FAA regulations and operation that interferes with first responders. The law prohibits operating near, or using UAS to take images of, a critical facility. It also preempts any locality from regulating UAS.

Delaware HB 195 creates the crime of unlawful use of an UAS and prohibits operation over any event with more than 1500 attendees, over critical infrastructure and over an incident where first responders are actively engaged in response or transport. The law also specifies that only the state may enact a law or regulation, preempting the authority of counties and municipalities.

Idaho SB 1213 prohibits the use of UAS for hunting, molesting or locating game animals, game birds and furbearing animals.

Illinois HB 5808 expanded the membership of the UAS Oversight Task Force and extended the deadline for the task force to issue a report from July 1, 2016 to July 1, 2017.

Indiana HB 1013 allows the use of UAS to photograph or take video of a traffic crash site. HB 1246 prohibits the use of UAS to scout game during hunting season.

Kansas SB 319 expands the definition of harassment in the Protection from Stalking Act to include certain uses of UAS. SB 249 appropriates funds that can be used to focus on research and development efforts related to UAS by state educational institutions. The law specifies a number of focuses for the research, including the use UAS for inspection and surveillance by the department of transportation, highway patrol and state bureau of investigation. It requires that the director of UAS make recommendations regarding state laws and rules that balance privacy concerns and the need for “robust UAS economic development” in the state.

Louisiana SB 73 adds intentionally crossing a police cordon using a drone to the crime of obstructing an officer. Allows law enforcement or fire department personnel to disable the UAS if it endangers the public or an officer’s safety. HB 19 prohibits using a drone to conduct surveillance of, gather evidence or collect information about, or take photo or video of a school, school premises, or correctional facilities. Establishes a penalty of a fine of up to $2,000 and up to six months in jail. HB 335 authorizes the establishment of registration and licensing fees for UAS, with a limit of $100. HB 635 adds the use of UAS to the crimes of voyeurism, video voyeurism and peeping tom. SB 141 specifies that surveillance by an unmanned aircraft constitutes criminal trespass under certain circumstances.

Oklahoma HB 2599 prohibits the operation of UAS within 400 feet of a critical infrastructure facility, as defined in the law.

Oregon HB 4066 modifies definitions related UAS and makes it a class A misdemeanor to operate a weaponized UAS. It also creates the offense of reckless interference with an aircraft through certain uses of UAS. The law regulates the use of drones by public bodies, including requiring policies and procedures for the retention of data. It also prohibits the use of UAS near critical infrastructure, including correctional facilities. SB 5702 specifies the fees for registration of public UAS.

Rhode Island HB 7511/SB 3099 gives exclusive regulatory authority over UAS to the state of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, subject to federal law.

Tennessee SB 2106 creates the crime of using a drone to fly within 250 feet of a critical infrastructure facility for the purpose of conducting surveillance or gathering information about the facility. HB 2376 clarifies that it is permissible for a person to use UAS on behalf of either a public or private institution of higher education, rather than just public insitutions.

Utah HB 126 makes it a class B misdemeanor to operate a UAS within a certain distance of a wildfire. It becomes a class A misdemeanor if the UAS causes an aircraft fighting the wildfire to drop a payload in the wrong location or to land without dropping the payload. It is a third degree felony if the UAS crashes into a manned aircraft and a second degree if that causes the manned aircraft to crash. HB 3003 increases the penalties for offenses related to operating within a certain distance of a wildfire and permits certain law enforcement officers to disable a drone that is flying in a prohibited area near a wildland fire.

Vermont SB 155 regulates the use of drones by law enforcement and requires law enforcement to annually report on the use of drones by the department. It also prohibits the weaponization of drones.

Virginia HB 412 prohibits the regulation of UAS by localities. HB 29 and HB 30 appropriate funds to Virginia Tech for UAS research and development.

Wisconsin SB 338 prohibits using a drone to interfere with hunting, fishing or trapping. AB 670 prohibits the operation of UAS over correctional facilities.

* Responder is not responsible for how you chose to use your UAV and do not rely on information found on our website or other promotional materials as legal advice. It is the responsibility of the pilot to insure he or she is in compliance with the current regulations.
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