When drones hit the market several years ago, many people rushed to take it up as a hobby, and a lot has changed when it comes to the rules for flying drones.
In April, the rules changed even more, and now anyone flying a drone has to pass a test.
“The law changes make information and certification easier and more accessible to new and licensed drone pilots, while expanding commercial operations over people and at night,” said Chris Peura, owner of Above-Us in Clarksville.
New FAA rules on drones
Here are the new drone rules from the Federal Aviation Administration that went into effect on April 21:
- Non-commercial drone pilots must now pass The Recreational UAS Safety Test (T.R.U.S.T.) and present the certificate to the FAA or law enforcement upon request. The test is available for free and is taken online.
- The in-person examination for commercial licenses has been replaced with online testing and updated with new questions.
- Commercial pilots may now fly at night and twilight with anti-collision lights so long as the pilot has completed a recent 107 recurrence or knowledge test that includes night operation information.
- Commercial and civil aircraft are now allowed to fly over people if they fall into one of the four risk-based operational categories outlined in FAA Subpart D 107.100.
- The FAA is also implementing a remote identification protocol, which will broadcast a drone’s identity and flight information to public safety organizations and other pilots. Remote ID capability can be provided as a built-in feature in new aircraft, or through a module attached to the drone. Pilots are expected to retrofit or update their fleet with transponders before Sept. 16, 2023, while manufacturers like Above-Us have until Sept. 16, 2022, to produce aircraft with the equipment built in.
That’s a lot of information, and it can be complicated. That’s why Above-Us offers classes for both hobbyists and commercial operators to help them through the process, make sure they’re in compliance, and build up their drone-flying skills.
Classes at Above-Us
Above-Us offers four classes with a range of prices for individuals and organizations:
- New Pilots: This introduction to recreational drones teaches what you need to get started, the rules of the craft, maneuvering skills and maintenance basics.
- Commercial Pilots: Those needing an assist getting a commercial drone license can also learn advanced flight theory, how to take professional photos, and how to get a job or start a business.
- First Responders: This is a public safety UAV program for new and experienced pilots, with sessions on aerial mapping, direct intervention, oversight intelligence, and integration with the National Incident Management System.
- Technicians: With this class, you learn how to build and program autonomous aircraft.
“Remote controlled aircraft are a gateway for future aviators,” Peura said. “We offer training that inspires pilots and contributes to the safe integration of drones into the national airspace.
Businesses needing drone services who don’t want to go through all the classes have another option: They can hire the professionals at Above-Us to handle their drone imagery needs. Above-Us offers both still image photography and videography services in addition to other aerial data solutions, repairs and custom aircraft.
For more, go to the Above-Us website, or call 931-614-0423 to schedule a visit at 1860 Wilma Rudolph Blvd. They’re open 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday. Drone booking is available 24/7.