The U.S. rules for flight notification depend first and foremost on the nature of your flight. Are you flying a drone for fun or for work purposes?
“Fly for Fun” Without Part 107: Required to Notify
If you are flying for fun and you are not a licensed remote pilot under FAA's Small UAS Rule (Part 107), you are obligated to operate according to the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (Public Law 112-95 Section 336). Under this rule, operators must:
- Fly for hobby or recreational purposes only
- Follow a community-based set of safety guidelines
- Fly the UAS within visual line-of-sight
- Give way to manned aircraft
- Provide prior notification to the airport and air traffic control tower, if one is present, when flying within 5 miles of an airport
- Fly UAS that weigh no more than 55 lbs. unless certified by a community-based organization
- Register the aircraft (UAS over 0.55 lbs. and less than 55 lbs. can be registered online at registermyuas.faa.gov; UAS 55 lbs. or greater must be registered through the FAA's paper-based process)
For more information visit the FAA’s "Fly for Fun" webpage for safety rules and guidelines that apply to recreational or hobby UAS operations under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft.
“Fly for Fun” With Part 107: Encouraged to Notify
If you are flying for fun, you have the option to fly in accordance with the FAA's Small UAS Rule (Part 107). This requires operators to:
- Obtain a remote pilot certificate or be under the direct supervision of someone who holds such a certificate.
- Register the aircraft as a non-modeler at registermyuas.faa.gov
- Follow all the operating rules in accordance with the regulation
For more information, view the FAA’s section on flying under Part 107.
“Fly for Work” With Part 107: Encouraged to Notify
For flights in accordance with the FAA's Small UAS Rule (Part 107), notifying third parties prior to takeoff is not required, but authorization from ATC may be required and coordination is encouraged where appropriate. For more information visit the FAA’s "Fly for Work" webpage for rules that apply to UAS operations under Part 107.
“Fly for Work” With 333 Exemption: Encouraged to Notify
If you are not a licensed remote pilot under the Small UAS Rule (Part 107), you may still fly for work if you meet one of the following requirements:
- Following the rules in your Section 333 grant of exemption
- Obtain an airworthiness certificate for the aircraft
Notification requirements for “fly for work” operations under Section 333 exemptions or airworthiness certificates are subject to terms of the exemption or certification.