Drone pilots who have Part 107 Remote Pilot Certification can now take their required training courses online. The training ensures that they have the knowledge necessary to operate in accordance with the Operations Over People rule when it becomes effective on April 21, 2021.
The training is free and available on the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) website. There are three courses:
- Part 107 Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Initial (ALC-451) – Current Part 61 certificate holders are eligible to take this course.
- Part 107 Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Recurrent (ALC -515) – Part 107 remote pilots who are also certificated and current under Part 61 are eligible to take this course.
- Part 107 Small UAS Recurrent Non-Part 61 Pilots (ALC-677) – Part 107 remote pilot certification holders (regardless of currency) are eligible to take this course.
Drone pilots who do not hold a current Remote Pilot Certification and want to operate under Part 107 must take the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Initial Aeronautical Knowledge Test online through an FAA-Approved Knowledge Testing Center. Knowledge tests may be scheduled on the Airman Certificate Testing Service (ACTS) website. The test has a fee associated with it and is valid for 24 calendar months.
After the new rule takes effect on April 21, Part 107 remote pilots who have completed the training will be allowed to operate over people, moving vehicles and at night without a waiver under certain conditions. The FAA will accept airspace authorization requests from remote pilots to operate in controlled airspace at night as long as they have completed the updated testing or training requirements.
The FAA is expecting an increase in traffic to the FAASTeam site with the release of this training. As such, remote pilots may experience technical difficulties while accessing the online courses and are encouraged to access the training outside of regular business days.