Licensed Part 107 Pilots are the ONLY Pilots Approved by the FAA for Commerical Flight!
Only FAA Part 107 Licensed Pilots can:
Produce Aerial Photography for profit. Recreational fliers are just that - only authorized to fly for fun. Commercially Licensed Pilots are able to post and/or sell their products on the internet or for companies
Fly in Controlled Airspace. Licensed Pilots are able to get authorization from Air Traffic Control for flight inside of Controlled Airport Airspace. Flying without authorization is illegal and opens the door to penalties and fines.
Avoid Potential Hazards. Licensed Part 107 Pilots are able to secure Insurance waivers necessary for production of marketing materials. There are different types of insurance.
Flight at Night. Licensed Part 107 are able to fly at night with proper FAA and ATC clearance.
Fly Over People and Moving Vehicles with proper clearances.
Insurance I will not fly commercially without being insured for UAS flight.
In addition, licensed pilots understand airport operations and FAA regulations. Weather conditions are something to always be considered. Licensed Part 107 Pilots understand how to get the most accurate weather information including wind and ceiling information, and prepare their crew to fly safely and legally.
It may seem like the Wild West when you think of anyone with a UAS (Unmanned Aerial System). aka: drone - but the fact of the matter is that the ONLY thing a recreational flyer can do is fly for fun. They are not legally able to create materials for marketing.
If you are a Real Estate company and using a photographer that also has a drone... without a license you are opening up yourself to FAA fines and much worse.
Don't assume that you are sheilded from Fines, Liability or Lawsuits by hiring a person that is not licensed.
Hiring a non-licensed drone pilot under 49 U.S. Code § 46306 poses legal risks for a company or person. The code mandates licensed pilots for commercial drone operations, ensuring safety and compliance. Employing an unlicensed pilot may violate FAA regulations, inviting penalties and fines. Additionally, it jeopardizes insurance coverage, increasing liability in case of accidents or property damage. Infringements can lead to legal repercussions, tarnishing the company's reputation and hindering future operations. Compliance ensures safety standards, mitigates risks, and upholds credibility, making adherence to licensed pilots imperative for legal protection and responsible business practices. This part of the Transportation Code is long - Here is the area that pertains to liability.
Flying your drone commerically WITHOUT a license from the FAA:
Violating Controlled Airspace WITHOUT Authorization from ATC:
Flying a drone commercially without an FAA license is a violation of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations and can result in significant consequences. These consequences can range from civil penalties to criminal charges.
The FAA can impose civil penalties of up to $32,600 for each violation.
In addition to civil penalties, the FAA may also refer cases of drone misuse to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution. If convicted of a criminal offense, a drone pilot could face fines of up to $250,000 and up to three years in prison.
Insurance coverage could be rendered meaningless. If you fly without a certificate, you may be liable for any damages caused by your drone.
Failure to Register your Drone with the FAA:
The penalty for flying a drone without registering it with the FAA can be up to $27,500 per violation. This includes both civil and criminal penalties.
A person who knowingly or willfully violates the drone registration requirement could be fined up to $250,000 and/or imprisoned for up to three years. In addition to the above penalties, the FAA may also: Issue a cease and desist order, prohibiting the pilot from flying drones until they comply with the registration requirement. Revocation of the drone pilot's registration. Civil forfeiture of the drone.
The FAA has stated that it will take a phased approach to enforcement of the drone registration requirement. In the first phase, the FAA will focus on education and outreach. In the second phase, the FAA will begin to issue warnings and civil penalties to pilots who are not in compliance. In the third phase, the FAA will begin to revoke registrations and pursue criminal charges for repeat offenders.
If you are unsure whether your drone needs to be registered with the FAA, you can check the FAA's drone registration page.
Don't Ignore the Remote ID Law!
The penalties for flying a drone without REMOTE ID can vary depending on the severity of the violation and the pilot's history. However, the FAA has stated that the following penalties are possible:
In addition to these penalties, the FAA may also issue a cease and desist order, which would prohibit the pilot from flying drones until they comply with the remote ID rule. The FAA has also stated that it will take a phased approach to enforcement of the remote ID rule. In the first phase, the FAA will focus on education and outreach. In the second phase, the FAA will begin to issue warnings and civil penalties to pilots who are not in compliance. In the third phase, the FAA will begin to revoke registrations and pursue criminal charges for repeat offenders.