Continue reading below, or listen:
Where to Start
Just go to FAA.gov, and hit the “Drones” tab on the right. Then hit the red “We can help you!” button to go right to this “Getting Started” page that starts by helping pilots figure out what type of drone pilot they are, recreational or commercial, and what rules apply to them.
New recreational pilots can learn the rules, register their drone, take the (free) TRUST test, and download their certificate. It’s clear, it’s easy, and it welcomes new pilots into the aviation community.
At DRONELIFE, we’re often asked by recreational pilots how they can make some money with their drone. That same “Getting Started” page is perfect to answer the question. It explains the process of becoming a Remote Pilot step by step – and along the way, there are articles and resources for all of the variations of existing aircraft pilots, public safety users, educational users, and more.
The FAA also offers many of these resources including the “Getting Started” page in Spanish.
FAA Drone Zone
FAA Drone Zone is the official site for managing drone services, including drone registration. From the Drone Zone pilots can download the B4UFly App, register drones, apply for airspace authorizations, and much more. If a pilot plans to fly for any reason other than recreation, they need to set up a business account on the FAA Drone Zone, registering drones and pilots. Scroll down the “Getting Started” page for instructions.
FAA Drone Resources on YouTube, Twitter, and the UAS “Hot Topics” page
Once you’ve covered the basics, there are a lot of great resources available on the FAA’s YouTube page. Not all of them are specific to drone pilots, but check out the playlists tab to find short videos like the “Drone Safety: New York” and the “Drone Webinars” series. Subscribe to the FAA on Twitter (@FAANews, @FAADroneZone) for up-to-the-minute news in aviation (and some humor.)
Finally, if you’ve heard about new rules, apps, or issues and would like more information, go to the UAS Hot Topics page. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great place to start to see what the FAA has already published on individual topics like LAANC, B4UFly, the BVLOS ARC, and more. And, be sure to subscribe to the FAA’s email list, to keep on top of new developments!
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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