Frequently asked questions

  1. ?

    What’s the difference between a drone, UAS, sUAS, UAV and RPA?
    Nothing Term Used by Drone Drone Press, Politicians and Public UAV Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Manufactures and drone service providers UAS Unmanned Aerial System FAA (any weight) sUAS small Unmanned Aerial System FAA (less than 55 lbs) RPV Remote Piloted Vehicle Military
  2. ?

    Why would a UAV be better than a manned airplane?
    • No transit time from airport to site • Much less expensive than an airplane • Much less energy required • Less noise generated • UAVs are small and unlikely to cause much damage in the event of an accident • Can fly lower and slower (multi-rotor devices can hover)
  3. ?

    Who can legally fly a UAV for compensation or hire?
    Currently (this could change - new rules go into place some time this summer 2016). • Must be a licensed pilot for manned aircraft • Must have a current biannual flight review • Must operate with an Observer • Must receive an FAA section 333 exemption from the FAA • Aircraft flown must be registered with the FAA and display an N number Note: this is not related to the recent FAA initiative to require hobby fliers to register their aircraft.
  4. ?

    Can you fly your UAV anywhere you want?
    There are quite a few restrictions. A short list: • We are restricted from flying within 5 miles of an airport with a control tower • We are restricted from flying within 3 miles of an airport with no control tower but with instrument approaches • We are restricted from flying within 2 miles of an airport without a tower and without instrument approaches • We cannot not fly over 400 feet above the ground • We cannot fly over people unless they give permission