Recreational Knowledge and Safety Test Update

The FAA announced on Monday, Dec. 9 that they have selected 12 organizations, including AMA, to make recommendations for the administration of the upcoming recreational knowledge and safety test. In September, AMA submitted a request for information (RFI) to show interest in becoming an administrator of the test. The knowledge and safety test is one of the eight statutory requirements found in the Exception for Limited Recreational Operations of Unmanned Aircraft to operate as a recreational flyer in the NAS. If you have questions, please contact us at (765) 287-1256 or


Q: I have seen communications about an upcoming test. What is this? 

A: Soon, all recreational flyers will have to pass the recreational knowledge and safety test. Completion of the test is one of the eight statutory requirements to operate under section 349, the exception for limited recreational operations of unmanned aircraft.

Q: When will the test become available? 

A: There has not been a set release date for the test, but it will likely be rolled out in early 2020. We will continue to update our member communication platforms when new information becomes available.

Q: Who will have to take this test? 

A: All recreational flyers will have to pass the test once it comes out. It is written into law and required of all recreational flyers to pass the test and maintain proof of passage. While we don’t have plans to require the test for membership, we should keep in mind that the FAA could require testing for our members as a requirement for CBO recognition.

Q: I have been an AMA member and flying model aircraft for years. Why do I need to take a test? 

A: The test will be an educational opportunity for all UAS operators and will show that AMA members have been demonstrating safe and responsible operations. It may be redundant for some who have operated safely in our community for years, but it will help educate the general public about the rules of the airspace.

Q: I noticed multiple organizations on the list sent out by the FAA. Why are there more than one? 

A: The objective is to develop a relationship between the FAA and third-party entities that will allow the entities to be able to administer the knowledge, training, and test content on various platforms that are positioned to maximize access to the recreational flier community.

Q: Will there be a fee associated with taking the knowledge and safety test? 

A: If the AMA decides to administer the test, we plan to provide the test to our members at no additional cost.

Q: What will the test look like? I am nervous that I will not pass.

A: AMA has been working closely with the FAA through the entire testing process and we held a seat on the testing review board to help develop the questions. This helped steer the direction of the test and gave the perspective of a recreational flyer. We are being told that the test will be approximately 25 questions. If the tester misses a question, the test will bounce back to the question and have information for the tester to read and reselect an answer. The test will not be as extensive as a part 107 test.

Q: I would like to study for the test. How can I go about doing so? 

A: The plan is that AMA will begin with education and outreach around the knowledge and safety test requirement, followed by an interactive and flexible online or in-person testing platform that allows the test taker to learn. Lastly, we plan to provide proof of completion/passage via email and follow-up to retake the test as required by the FAA.

Q: Will the test be reoccurring, or will I only have to take it once? 

A: Some details regarding the test are not clear yet, therefore, we are not sure if this will be a one-time-only test or will have to be retaken after a certain amount of years. AMA has proposed different solutions for members regarding a reoccurring test.

Q: Where will the test be administered, online-only or will it be written?  

Currently, there is not a definite answer to where the test will be administered. AMA has asked that a written and an online test are available to the public to take. We want our clubs and members to have the opportunity to take a written test at a fixed location.

Q: What is the minimum age for the test? How are children going to be able to pass this test?

A: The test will be available for all ages, however, children under the age of 13 will need consent from their parent or guardian. AMA works to ensure the safety of all members including those under the age of 13.