Any operation that does not meet the statutory criteria for a public aircraft operation is considered a civil aircraft operation and must be conducted in accordance with all FAA regulations applicable to the operation. There are presently three methods of operating a UAS Commercially. Depending on the type of operation, entities may operate either under the Provisions of 14 CFR 107, a Waver to 14 CFR Part 107 or a Section 333 Exemption and COA. Additional Information on 14 CFR Part 107 Operations can be found in Advisory Circular 107-2.

Advantages/Disadvantages of the 3 Options

14 CFR Part 107

  • No Waiting Period
  • Limited Operations
  1. Limited to Visual Line of Sight
  2. May not Operate over People
  3. Daylight Only (Twilight ok with Anti-Collision Lights)
  4. Max 100mph
  5. Maximum Altitude 400ft or within 400ft of a structure
  6. 3 mile visibility Requirement
  7. Operations within Class B, C, D or E airspace requires ATC Permission
  8. Limited to one craft per Pilot
  9. No operations from moving vehicle unless over sparsely populated area
  • Pilot must possess  “Remote Pilot Certificate with a Small UAS Rating”
  • Each UAS must be registered individually with the FAA
  • Examples
  1. –Structure Inspections in Rural Areas
  2. –Real Estate Photography

14CFR Part 107 Waver Options

  • Operation from a moving vehicle or aircraft*
  • Daylight operation
  • Visual line of sight aircraft operation*
  • Visual observer
  • Operation of multiple small unmanned aircraft systems
  • Yielding the right of way
  • Operation over people
  • Operation in certain airspace
  • Operating limitations for small unmanned aircraft
  • Examples:
  1. Night Thermal Imaging
  2. Event Filming
  3. Filming in  High-Density Areas

*Not Available for carriage of property of another

Section 333 Waiver & COA

  • 120 day Processing Time
  • May allow operations limited by Part107 or Part 107 Waver
  • Pilot requires a “Pilot Certificate”
  • Additional reporting Requirements
  • Each UAS must be registered individually with the FAA
  • Examples:
  1. UAVs over 55 lbs
  2. Aerial Application

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