Using a Drone to Make Money
The current uses for sUASs are just the tip of the iceberg, and more innovative and profitable tasks are developed every day. If you’re new to sUAS ownership, check out our new owner guide here. Once you are ready to start using a drone for more than a hobby, the FAA adds a whole new set of rules a
FAA RegulationsIf you're going to fly your drone, and it doesn't qualify as a hobby flight - outlined here - the FAA is allowed to regulate that flight, and FAA rules do not traditionally allow that. That's why Part 107 was passed, to allow pilots to use sUASs for purposes like these. Part 107 must be complied with no matter the compensation, flying could be your job, you could be planning to monetize videos on YouTube, or you could be taking photos in exchange for a sandwich. Just like a hobby flight, you still have to be flying a sUAS, the "small" part is important. The separate set of rules - found here - must be followed for UASs over 55 pounds no matter the purpose of the flight. Just like the 55 pound rule, there is another blanket rule that ejects an individual into a separate set of guidelines, if you are flying for a governmental purpose, whether p Once you have an sUAS to fly, and you've met all the guidelines for hobby flights found here, you're ready to dive into Part 107 compliance!
First, the FAA registration requirement is definitely mandatory, if you decided not to register while flying as a hobbyist, definitely do so before receiving any compensation. Second, the Pilot in Charge (PIC) must have a Remote Pilot Certification from the FAA. Once you have the Remote Pilot Certification, the rules are very similar to hobby flights:
FAA Drone RulesRestricted to Class G airspace
Must keep the aircraft in sight (visual line-of-sight)
Aids, other than corrective lenses - such as binoculars - are only allowed momentarily
Must fly under 400 feet
BUT, up to 400 above any building, as long as you are 400 feet or less from it laterally
Must fly during the day
Cannot fly more than 30 minutes after sunset or before sunrise
Must fly at or below 100 mph
Must yield right of way to manned aircraft
Must NOT fly over people
Must NOT fly from a moving vehicle unless you are in a very sparsely populated area
All of the above rules CAN be waived if a formal waiver is applied for through the FAA. The following cannot be waived under any circumstances:
The PIC must be able to control the drone at all times, if allowing someone else to fly it, you must be able to grab the controls or take control with another device.
The PIC must be sober, you cannot have any drugs or alcohol that would impair your ability to fly safely, a blood alcohol level over .04% is a violation.
No waiver can be issued to allow the carriage of property of another by aircraft for compensation or hire.