Purpose of the FAA
Since 1958, the job of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been to oversee, regulate and maintain safe air space. They have an excellent record.
The US has the greatest amount of air traffic in the world, it is also the safest airspace in the world, due to the oversight, regulation and monitoring of the FAA and Air Traffic Control services.
Purpose of FAA Part 107 Certification
According to the FAA, the purpose of the Part 107 education & certification curriculum, is to educate drone pilots in order to provide a safe and effective foundational step for the FULL INTEGRATION of unmanned aircraft (aka Drones) into the controlled airspace by the year 2025. The fact is, drones are here to stay!
Passing the FAA part 107 provides a drone pilot with a commercial remote pilot certificate (also known as a Commercial Drone Pilot License) from the FAA which must be formally renewed via ongoing education and knowledge testing by the FAA every two years. The FAA 107 license is a legal document attesting to the fact the drone pilot has the training, education and knowledge necessary to navigate responsibly, safely and effectively in controlled public air space and is legally qualified and approved for commercial drone activities.
NOTE: Hobby and Recreational drone pilots are NOT required to hold a Part 107 certificate, however they can not legally engage in ANY commercial drone photography projects or fly in controlled airspace. They are governed and limited by the rules of recreational flight as defined by the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA).
BUYER BEWARE – Stiff Fines and Penalties
It is illegal for ANY non FAA 107 certified drone pilot to engage in ANY commercial flight operations or even to provide drone services or photos for FREE to someone who will in turn use them commercially.
The penalties for the recreational pilot AND the person or business who hires them are stiff fines and in rare cases imprisonment, depending on the type of air space violation.
For example: a recreational flyer can not legally fly within controlled airspace. The 107 certified pilot can and can even fly in controlled airspace with the proper authorization and waivers, due to the fact they understand commercial airspace and how to navigate within it, in the presence of other nearby aircraft, responsibly and safely.
Commercial Drone Pilot Responsibility
Commercial drone pilots have the responsibility of getting an aerial photography job done right, while protecting public safety and navigating controlled air space in a safe and responsible manner. This is what FAA 107 certification is all about.
The Bottom Line…
If you are going to hire a drone pilot for ANY commercial purpose. Insist on proof that they are qualified, 107 certified, licensed and insured. Your liability and pocketbook may very well depend on it.