If you are familiar with the FAA certification and other aviation laws, you probably may have come across the term “Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate or Drone Permit”.
It has various names including, UAV certificate, drone permit, commercial drone license, drone license, and drone pilot license. Nevertheless, the correct term to be used is a Remote Pilot Certificate (RPC). It is a must-have for individuals who operate drones on a commercial scale of for state purposes.
Well, with all that aside, let’s dig deeper into the major purpose of this post – How to acquire the P107 Certificate. Before that, there are some requirements to be met.
Basic Requirements for the P107 Remote Pilot Exam
- Be aged 16 years or more.
- Be physically and mentally fit so as to operate small UAS in adherence to all the safety standards.
- Have the ability to understand, speak, read, and write English (There may one or more exceptions e.g. hearing impairment).
- Take the Initial Aeronautical Knowledge Exam (IAKE) and pass in one of the FAA-approved knowledge testing centers.
Ways of Obtaining P107 Remote Pilot Certificate
Once you have complied with the above, there are two ways of obtaining the part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate. Each is clearly outlined below with easy-to-follow steps.
You can either:
- Pass the initial knowledge exam for the remote pilot and submit your information to the IACRA. Next, you will take and pass the TSA background check after which you will finally receive your Remote Pilot Certificate via email or any other electronic means.
- Take the free online training course offered at FAA (this applies to current manned aircraft pilots) and submit your application to the IACRA and receive your certificate electronically.
For each of the above, there are different routes to the final destination. Stay tuned to the end of this post to get finer and clear details on the same.
Fight Plan to Obtaining the P107 Remote Pilot Certificate, for Beginners
1. Plan Yourself – Scheduling Your Time For The Test
Depending on how busy your week is, you will have to take a realistic inventory of your free hours in the week.
Here is a brief guide to enable you to plan for the test:
- Determine the number of hours you have in a week and multiply the same by 5. You should take a rest during the weekend or use the same as bonus hours.
- Once you have determined the total number of hours you can devote to studying for the test, you are ready for the next step.
- On average, you will take 2 minutes to read one page, given that the content is technical.
The study guide has 406 pages which imply you will take 812-minutes. This is equivalent to 13-14 hours in a week. These hours may appear less but remember you will need to revisit the content to grasp the information permanently.
- Therefore, two-three weeks are enough if you dedicate around 5 hours per week.
2. Schedule For The FAA P107-Knowledge Test Exam
You must decide the site at which you prefer to take the test. There are two options. CATS and PSI/Lasergrade are the two companies offering the tests. CATS offers a $10 discount for AOPA members. Additionally, you have to choose one from the currently 696 sites that offer the test.
- If you settle on CATS, call them through the number 1-800-947-4228 and press 3 so as arrange an appointment with them.
Their working hours are:
Monday through Friday (5:30 AM PST-5:00 PM PST) and
Sundays and Saturday (7:00 AM PST-3:30 PM PST)
PSI/Lasergrade is the second option.
3. Take Your Time And Study
Make use of online part 107 Test study guides provided. FAA does not include all the materials; it is up to you to venture out and find out what is missing.
After mastering the rules, come up with a Business Plan for the operations as outlined in Part 107. It is good to go beyond and dig deeper into the non-107 types of questions.
4. Once You Have Settled on Given Operations and Industries, consider making Some Early Preparations.
It is good to have some things in place while you still have time.
- Build or improve your website
- Buy an aircraft or improve your flying skills on your current aircraft
- Get an insurance cover for the aircraft
- Find an attorney for all the law areas. It is important to have a lawyer in the initial stages rather do so when your business shall have grown to another higher level. There won’t be much time by then. Consider getting a lawyer that can be of help in matters dealing with:
5. Finally, Take The P107 Remote Pilot Certificate Initial Knowledge Test
6. Fill FAA FORM 8710-13
You may fill the paper-based version of the form or fill the same online for RPC. Follow the below steps if you choose to fill the form online:
- Login into your IACRA account using username and password as previously registered
- Under the Applicant Console:
Start a new application if there are no existing applications
From the drop-down list, select “Pilot” and click on Remote Pilot – Starting a Remote Pilot Application
The page for the application will open and display your personal information. This will obviously have the information entered during registration.
Unless you intend to make any changes, click on green “Save & Continue.”
Next is Supplementary Data Section where you will be required to answer the English Language and Drug Conviction questions. After this, you click on “Save & Continue.”
- Next, is the Basis of Issuance Section.
Here you will be required to enter:
Photo ID information. It is advisable to use a driving license or U.S passport.
Enter the knowledge test ID in the Search box. This may take three days before being reflected on IACRA.
- The next Section to open will be “Review and Submit.”
At this step, you will review all the information provided before finally signing and filing. Answer the Denied Certificate Questions and view and Pilots Bill or Rights, Privacy Acts before moving to the final step.
- Sign and Complete the Application
Here, you need to:
- Sign and complete the application
- Sign the Pilots Bills of Rights Acknowledgement Form
Once done with all the above, your application is now complete. It takes 2-4 days for the temporary certificate to be available at IACRA. You will receive a notification of this in your email. You will receive an email upon the arrival of your permanent certificate.
Procedure Followed By Current Manned Aircraft Pilots in Obtaining P107 Remote Pilot Certificate
Read the latest edition of P107 to understand the regulations and get help with any questions you may have. Here is the application process:
- Visit the FAA website and complete the “P107 SUAS ALC- 451” training course
- Complete form FAA 8710-13
- Decide whether you prefer filling the papers or doing it online
- In both ways, you have to validate the identity of the applicant on the IACRA or 8710-13 platforms. You can reach out to the Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) of FAA, FSDO, FAA-certified Flight Instructor (CFI) or aircraft certification Representative (ACR) to validate your identity. However, it is advisable to look out for the FSDO because you can obtain a temporary certificate. Reach to your local FSDO and schedule an appointment.
- Next, present the FAA form 8710-13 upon completion. Alongside, bring the completion certificate for your online course. Alternatively, bring the Knowledge Test Repot. Also, a proof of a current flight review is needed.
- The applicant will then sign FAA8710-13 after the DPE, FSDO, CFI or ACR have examined and verified the applicant’s photograph & the identity. The identification presented must, therefore, include the photograph, signature and the actual residential address of the applicant. You will realize these particulars will be presented in more than one form as required. Some of the acceptance methods that are accepted though not limited to the USA alone include passport, government IDs, driver license and military IDs.
- FAA representative finally signs the application
- The Airman Certification Representative, an appropriate FSDO representative, or FAA-Designated Pilot Examiner then issues a temporary certificate. After the CFI has submitted the information to the IACRA, a temporary certificate will be sent to the applicant after many days.
- After all the internal FAA processes have come to an end, a Permanent P107 Remote Pilot Certificate/Drone Permit/Commercial Drone License will be sent to the applicant via email.