Since the FAA announced the new rules under Part 107 some questions still arise concerning current Section 333 exemption holders and new user wanting to operate under Part 107.


1. How do I fly a UAS for work or business purposes?
There are three ways to fly a UAS for work, business, or non-recreational reasons:

  • Following the requirements in the Part 107 rule
  • Following the rules in your Section 333 grant of exemption
  • Obtain an airworthiness certificate for the aircraft

2. I am part of a Federal/State/local government office – how can I fly a UAS to support a specific mission e.g.search and rescue?
You may either operate under the Part 107 rule, or you may apply for a public Certificate of Waiver or
Authorization (COA) for certain operations.

3. I already have a pilot certificate issued under part 61. Do I need to obtain a remote pilot certificate to fly a UAS under the Small UAS Rule (Part 107)?
Yes. All operations under the Part 107 rule require the UAS operator to have a remote pilot certificate, which he or she can obtain by taking an online training course. However, part 61 pilot certificate holders who have completed a flight review within the past 24 months may elect to take an online training course focusing on UAS-specific areas of knowledge instead of the knowledge test. All other members of the public must take and pass the initial aeronautical knowledge test to obtain a remote pilot certificate.

4. When will the initial Knowledge Test at testing centers be available?
Members of the public will be able to take the knowledge test at testing centers on the effective date of the Small UAS Rule in August 2016.

5. When will the online training be available for current pilot certificate holders?
Online training for current pilot certificate holders is currently available at www.faasafety.gov.

6. How can I find the closest Knowledge Testing Center to me?
A list of Knowledge Testing Centers (PDF) is available.

7. How much does it cost to get a remote pilot certificate?
We anticipate that a knowledge testing center will charge approximately $150 to people seeking to take the knowledge test.

8. Do I need a Section 333 exemption, or any other kind of special permission, to fly once the Part 107 rule becomes effective?
Once you have obtained your remote pilot certificate, and registered your aircraft, you can fly in Class G airspace as long as you follow all the operating requirements in the small UAS Rule (Part 107).
However, you will need special permission if you want to fly in any controlled airspace (PDF) (Classes B, C, D, or E), or if you want to deviate from any of the operational requirements contained in the Small UAS Rule (Part 107), including flying at night, or over people).

9. What happens to my Section 333 exemption when the Part 107 rule becomes effective in August?
Your Section 333 exemption remains valid until it expires. You may continue to fly following the conditions and limitations in your exemption. If your operation can be conducted under the requirements in the Part 107, you may elect to operate under Part 107. However, if you wish to operate under part 107, you must obtain a remote pilot certificate and follow all the operating rules of Part 107.

10. Can my blanket Section 333 Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) transfer to my UAS operation under part 107?
No. If you fly following the requirements of Part 107, you must comply with the operating provisions specified in part 107. Part 107 limits your altitude to 400 feet unless your unmanned aircraft is flying within 400 feet of a structure (in which case you may not fly higher than 400 feet above the top of that structure). Part 107 also limits your operation to Class G airspace unless you obtain FAA permission prior to the operation to fly in controlled airspace. The blanket COA issued with your Section 333 exemption is only valid if you continue flying using the conditions and limitations in your exemption.

11. Can I use the new airmen certification to fulfill the pilot-in-command requirement of my Section 333 exemption?
No. You cannot “mix and match” the conditions and limitations in your Section 333 exemption with the Part 107 rule operating requirements. Section 333 exemption holders have two choices:
a) Continue to fly using their Section 333 exemption, following the conditions and limitations in the exemption
b) Get a remote pilot certificate and start flying under the Part 107 rule, following all operating rules and requirements.

12. Will FAA be issuing renewals for current Section 333 exemptions?
For the most part, no. If your operation can be flown under the Part 107 rule, the FAA will not renew your
exemption once it expires. If you cannot operate under the requirements of the Small UAS Rule, you will need to renew your Section 333 petition once it expires.

13. How do I apply for a waiver to the requirements of the Part 107 rule?
Waivers are special permissions the FAA issues to authorize certain types of UAS operations not covered
under the Part 107 rule. An online portal will be available through www.faa.gov/uas for people to apply for these waivers.

14. Will I still need a COA to fly under the Part 107 rule?
If you already have a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA), you can continue to fly under those COA requirements until it expires. This applies to Section 333 COAs, as well as public COAs issued to public entities, such as law enforcement agencies, state or local governments, or universities.  If you don’t already have a COA and you are not conducting a public aircraft operation, you probably don’t need one now that Part 107 is out. Starting in August 2016, civil UAS operations flown under the new rules will not require the UAS operator to get a COA before flying in uncontrolled (Class G) airspace. Operators who want to fly in controlled (Class B, C, D, or E airspace(PDF)) will need air traffic permission – details about obtaining permission will be available online at www.faa.gov/uas before the rule becomes effective in August.


Highlights of the New UAS Rules

The 3 page summary of the new UAS Rules issued by the FAA can be found here:

The complete text of the new UAS Rules issued by the FAA can be found here:


For Further Information

Please contact NEI if you have any further questions.

  • NEI Main Office:  1-800-949-1446
  • William Poche     |     william_poche@neigps.com
  • Bernard Lemoine     |     bernard_lemoine@neigps.com
  • Chad Hicks     |      Chad_hicks@neigps.com     |     504.425.4585


Leave a Reply