As drone technology becomes more and more commonplace, it’s important to remember that there are rules and regulations in place for a reason. Just as with any other mode of transportation, drone operators need to be licensed and certified to fly their drones safely and responsibly.
As a small business owner or manager, you may consider using drones for various tasks or projects. But before you do, it’s essential to ensure that your drone operator is licensed and insured.
What is a remote pilot certificate?
In the United States, a remote pilot certificate is required to operate a drone for any commercial purpose. This license comes from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It’s sometimes called a drone operator license and it requires passing an exam.
If you want to get paid to drone, you need a license. You can drone for fun without a license, but as soon as you start making money from it, you need to be licensed.
This is regulated under 14 CFR Part 107. The FAA’s section covers the commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). While you, as a business owner, don’t need a drone license, you are responsible for ensuring that your drone operator has one.
When and why do operators need to be licensed?
Before your business starts working with a drone operator, it’s essential to understand the rules and regulations governing their use.
In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires that all drones weighing more than 0.55 pounds be registered. Chances are, if they’re flying in support of your small business (photography, surveying, etc.), they meet the weight requirements and need to be registered. Once the operator has registered their drone, they will need to display the registration number on the outside of the aircraft. This is essential for identifying the drone in case of an accident or incident.
In addition to registering their drone, the operator will need to obtain a pilot’s license if they plan to fly commercially. To do this, they need to pass an FAA-approved exam. Once they have their license, they can fly drones for business purposes, such as taking aerial photographs, videos, surveying land, etc.
Commercial purposes have been interpreted to be anything that results in a financial benefit, even if you’re not planning to sell the footage directly. Still, if you plan to use it for marketing purposes, you will need to be licensed.
Why is it essential to ensure your drone operator is licensed? There are a few reasons. First, it’s the law. If you’re hiring someone to operate a drone for your business, you need to ensure they follow the law and have the proper certification. Second, it’s safety. A licensed drone operator is trained and familiar with the rules and regulations governing drone use. This helps to ensure that they are operating the drone safely and not putting people or property at risk—finally, it’s quality. A licensed drone operator will have the skills and experience necessary to capture the footage you need professionally.
What happens if a drone operator is not licensed?
If a drone operator is not licensed and caught flying a drone commercially, they can be fined by the FAA. The fine will depend on the circumstances, but it can be as much as $11,000. In addition, if the drone operator is found to be operating recklessly or causing damage, they could also face criminal charges.
Why does this matter to you as a business owner? The FAA can come after you if they catch your drone operator flying without a license. You could be fined or even shut down if you’re hiring unlicensed operators. In addition, if an accident or incident occurs, and it’s found that your drone operator was not licensed, your insurance company may not cover the damages. This could leave you on the hook for thousands of dollars in repairs or medical bills.
Ignorance is not an excuse. If you’re hiring a drone operator for your business, you need to ensure they are appropriately licensed. It’s the law and the best way to protect your business.
So, if you’re considering hiring a drone operator for your business, make sure they are licensed. It’s the law, and it’s the best way to ensure that you’re getting a safe, professional service.
What should a business owner ask a drone operator before flying?
You should ask a drone operator a few questions before they start flying for your business.
- Do you have a registration and license? This will ensure that they are appropriately licensed and registered with the FAA. Be sure to check the expiration dates on their registration and license to ensure they are up-to-date.
- What experience do they have? A good drone operator will have plenty of flying experience and be able to show you examples of their work. They might even post some of their previous work on social media or on their website.
- Are they insured? A good drone operator will have insurance that covers them in an accident or incident. This will protect you from having to pay for damages out of pocket.
- What drone will they use? A good drone operator will have a drone that is in good condition and equipped with the latest safety features. They’ll be able to tell you the resolution and FPS (frames per second) that their drone is capable of capturing.
- Are there any airspace restrictions? There may be airspace restrictions that limit where the drone can fly. They should be familiar with these restrictions and will make sure to stay within them.
By asking these questions, you can ensure that you’re hiring a drone operator who is appropriately licensed, experienced, and capable of providing you with the drone services you need. This will help to protect your business and give you peace of mind.
Let’s get flying for you!
The bottom line is that it’s crucial to ensure your drone operator is licensed. It’s the law and the best way to protect your business.
So, if you’re considering hiring a drone operator, ask them these questions. After all, it’s your business on the line.
And if you’re looking for a drone operator in the Central Texas area, check out our drone services. We’re licensed, experienced, and insured. We’re also familiar with all of the local airspace restrictions in place; So you can rest assured that we’ll stay within them.