Effective August 29, 2016 the FAA requires sUAS pilots preforming commercial operations, or those not operating within the programing of a community-based organization, to earn a remote pilot’s certificate and to operate within the provisions of Part 107. To earn this certificate, pilots must take a test at an FAA testing center before conducting flight. The cost for this test is approximately $150.
While this new federal rule applies to many sUAS operators, AMA members flying under our safety program for recreational operations are exempt. Part 107 does not alter the recreational rules for hobbyists who operate under and comply with Section 336, the Special Rule for Model Aircraft. AMA members not conducting commercial operations are exempt from Part 107 and the remote pilot certificate requirement. It should also be noted that AMA member who choose to obtain a Remote Pilot’s Certificate can still operate in accordance with and within AMA’s safety program when flying their sUAS (model aircraft) for recreational and hobby purposes.
While AMA members operating strictly for hobby and recreational purposes are not subject to Part 107, the FAA still requires hobbyists to comply with the registration requirement in Part 48 at https://registermyuas.faa.gov. This is an issue we are working to resolve. You can read answers to frequently asked questions at https://www.modelaircraft.org/aboutama/faa-uas-faq.aspx.
You can learn more about FAA’s Part 107 at https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=20515.