What the FAA’s new rule about commercial drone flights means for you

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Drone flying in the air

06/30/2016 | Author: Editorial Staff

Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration announced its long-awaited final rule for commercial use of small drones, which are those that weigh 55 pounds or less. Beginning in August, commercial drone operators will have a new set of standards to follow. Here are a few things you need to know if you want to fly a drone for your real estate business under the new rule, known as Part 107.

You have to get a remote pilot airman certificate 
To fly your drone commercially, you’ll need a remote pilot airman certificate with a small UAS rating. To get the certification, you must pass an FAA-approved test. (Read more about getting your certification.) Or, if you already have a Part 61 pilot certificate, you can use it to obtain your remote pilot airman certificate under certain guidelines. A final option is to fly under the direct supervision of someone who has the remote pilot airman certificate. The Transportation Security Administration will run a background check on all remote pilot applicants.

You have to register your drone
If your drone weighs more than 0.55 pounds, you must register your drone with the FAA. Learn more at registermyuas.faa.gov.

You have to operate the drone safely
There are several specific requirements you’ll have to follow for flying your drone, including:

  • Keeping it in your line of sight while flying
  • Flying under 400 feet
  • Only flying during the day
  • Avoiding flying over people or moving vehicles
  • Flying at or below 100 mph.

Learn more about the new rule and how it differs from regulations for recreational drone fliers on the FAA's website. And see in the June 2016 issue of Texas REALTOR® magazine how the FAA has handled commercial drone operators leading up to the new rule.

Categories: Business tips, Legal
Tags: drones, legal


ryan drone photographer on 11/07/2016

Getting a part 107 is definitely a must if you want to fly a drone for commercial use. It is the law now and I head it will be strictly enforced as well as some hefty fines. I have taken the part 107 test and it is pretty challenging. I studied for about 2 weeks and got a 90%. It is well worth it to get a license especially if you are a realtor planning to use drone video and pictures for your MLS. An easier way is also to hire someone who has a part 107 license and just build a strong working relationship and you won’t have to worry about editing and doing post production and focus more on selling. From my experience, now that the new law for drones are up, realtors are just outsourcing for their aerial shots just to make sure they are in accordance with the law.
What is everyone’s take on this issue, are more realtors wanting to get their own license or just out source?

Jonathan Correia on 07/15/2016

Jorges,  I have seen drones so small that they do weight under 1/2 lb.  but these are mostly giant flies and cant do anything but annoy the cat.  I read this rule as drones that weight between .55 lbs and 55 lbs. must be registered with the FAA.  the tiny ones don’t need to be registered.

JORGE S LOPEZ on 07/07/2016

You need to register your aircraft if it weighs between 0.55 lbs. (250 grams) and up to 55 lbs. (25 kg)


Michael Bray on 07/07/2016

Am I missing something?  In the first part of the article you mention drones weighing less than 55 pounds and later you mention drones weighing over 1/2 pound, or 0.55 lbs.

So, does the article address drones between 1/2 pound and 55 pounds?  The more we discussed this article in the office the more confused everyone became.

But that seems to be par for the course when discussing federal regulations….

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The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on texasrealestate.com. Any legal or other information found here, on texasrealestate.com, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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