What is a commercial use of UAS?

Any commercial use in connection with a business, including:

  • Selling photos or videos taken from a UAS
  • Using UAS to provide contract services, such as industrial equipment or factory inspection
  • Using UAS to provide professional services, such as security or telecommunications
  • Using UAS to monitor the progress of work your company is performing

What are some examples of commercial uses of UAS?

  • Professional real estate or wedding photography
  • Professional cinema photography for a film or television production
  • Providing contract services for mapping or land surveys

What requirements do I need to meet to fly commercially?

Remote Pilot requirements:

  • Must be at least 16 years of age
  • Must hold a remote pilot airman certificate with a small UAS rating or be under the direct supervision of someone holding a remote pilot airman certificate
  • Must pass the applicable Transportation Security Administration (TSA) vetting

UAS requirements:

  • Must weigh less than 55 lbs.*
  • Must undergo pre-flight check by remote pilot in command (a.k.a. you or the person supervising the operation)

Location requirements (click here for more details on these airspace classes):

  • Operations in Class B, C, D and E airspace are allowed with the required Air Traffic Controller (ATC) permission
  • Operations in Class G airspace are allowed without ATC permission

If I meet all the requirements to fly commercially, what arethe operating rules?

(For a more detailed summary, click here.)

  • Must fly under 400 feet above ground level (AGL) or, if flying at an altitude higher than 400 feet AGL, stay within 400 feet of a structure
  • Must keep the UAS in sight (i.e. visual line of sight), either by the remote pilot in command or a visual observer*
  • Must fly during daylight hours* or civil twilight hours (30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset, local time) with appropriate anti-collision lighting
  • Must fly at or below 100 mph*
  • Must yield right of way to manned aircraft*
  • Must not fly over people*
  • Must not fly from a moving vehicle unless you are in a sparsely populated area*

*If you want to operate UAS for commercial purposes outside of these rules, you may apply for a certificate of waiver. The FAA will grant waivers if operation can be performed safely but may otherwise not be allowed under Part 107.