Renewing Your FAA Part 107 Drone Pilot’s License
With the drone industry flourishing, many of us busy commercial drone pilots may be forgetting that the FAA Part 107 drone pilot certification is only a little over two years old.
Why does this matter? Because the two-year mark for re-certification may be right around the corner for many of us.
Remember, one of the many regulations under Part 107 states that commercial drone pilots must renew their certification every 24 months. This is done by passing a recurrent knowledge test similar to the original one. (Don’t have an commercial drone license yet? It’s the law! Click here for comprehensive FAA Part 107 test prep)
So, this begs the question: How much of the FAA Part 107 material do you remember?
Drone operating regulations can be pretty easy. Don’t fly at night. Don’t go above 400 feet above the ground. And so on. But what about airspace classes? How about reading VFR sectional charts? Do you remember coded METARs and TAFs? What about latitude and longitude?
Technology Makes Flying Under Part 107 Easy
Understand that when generating the content for the Part 107 recurrent test, the FAA does not account for much of the new technology that makes flying drones within Part 107 regulations simple.
Many of us commercial drone pilots’ use FAA-approved apps that instantly check local airspace restrictions or weather minimums before flying. Some apps report relevant info that we would find on sectional charts like national parks and wildlife refuges. Some even report local off-limits areas, which are not always marked sectional charts, like schools, power plants, and prisons. Not to mention automatically creating and storing flight logs.
Some apps even provide automatic authorization to fly near airports with air traffic control restrictions (LAANC). This has made flying drones in cities and large, metropolitan areas easier than ever before.
The point here is that it’s easy to use technology to comply with FAA Part 107 regulations when flying drones. And we should continue doing so. But when you’re preparing take the recurrent test, make sure to brush-up on old-school methods like reading physical sectional charts to navigate the airspace environment or interpreting a coded METAR or TAF weather report.
Easier the Second Time Around
We do get a bit of a break, though. Compared to the initial 60 question certification test, the Part 107 recurrent test is only 40 questions. And it focuses most heavily on FAA regulations, understanding airspace, and being able to read sectional charts. So, there will likely be less focus on weather, loading and performance, and physiology.
For those who haven’t participated in our online training course, we will soon be offering a brush-up study course that will get you prepared for the Part 107 recurrent test. It features detailed lectures and text covering the FAA regulations, airspace, and sectional chart material, which will get you familiar with the material again and confident to pass.