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Drone & Crane

Meeting FAA Requirements for Commercial Drone Use

Commercial Drones or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) must be operated in accordance with FAA operational rules.

What constitutes commercial drone use?

  • Any drone used to provide contract services, i.e. Industrial equipment or property inspection.
  • Selling pictures/videos taken from a drone.
  • Drones used to monitor the progress of your company’s work.
  • Using drones for professional services, i.e., security or telecommunications.

What are the requirements for commercial drone use?

Any person using a drone for commercial purposes must be at least 16 years old and hold a remote pilot airman certificate with a small UAS rating or be under the supervision of an individual with a remote pilot certificate and pass applicable TSA vetting.

How do I obtain an FAA Remote Pilot Airman certificate?

Step 1: Pay the $5 fee and register all aircraft weighing more than 0.55lbs.
Step 2:  Pass the $150 Small UAS Remote Pilot Exam – exam prep is available here.
Step 3: Pass a TSA background check
Step 4: File FAA Form 8710-13

Are there continuing education requirements for remote pilots?

Yes. Pilots must pass the $150 FAA Remote Pilot Airman exam every two years.

What are the requirements for the drone/UAS?

The drone must weigh less than 55 lbs and undergo a pre-flight check by the FAA Remote Pilot Airman certificate holder.

What are the commercial drone operating rules?

  • Fly under 400 ft above ground level unless you are within 400 ft of a structure.
  • Keep the UAS in sight of either the remote pilot in command or an observer.
  • Fly during daylight hours or 30 minutes before and after official sunrise and sunset.
  • Fly at or below 100mph.
  • Yield right-of-way to manned aircraft.
  • Do not fly over people.
  • Do not fly from a moving vehicle in densely populated areas.


Individuals piloting drones for commercial purposes must pass the FAA Remote Pilot in Command  Exam in order to obtain a certificate.
Certified Training Institute offers online video exam prep to ensure you pass the exam on your first try!

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