Do you have your Part 107 certificate? If you're a drone pilot, the answer had better be yes. But what if you're not a drone pilot? Well, the BVLOS ARC has something to say about that. Their latest report recommends that all new Part 107 certificates include provisions for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operation. If you want to get your Part 107, you need to be prepared to fly your drone beyond your line of sight. Here's what you need to know.
The BVLOS ARC is a committee of aviation experts formed in 2016 to study the usefulness of drone operations beyond visual line of sight. Their latest report recommends that the FAA include BVLOS provisions in all new Part 107 certificates. This would require all current and future drone pilots to be trained and certified to fly their drones beyond their line of sight.
The BVLOS ARC is recommending this change because they believe it will make drone operations safer and more efficient. Currently, drone pilots are only allowed to fly their drones within their line of sight. Meaning that you need to keep your drone in view at all times, which can be difficult, especially if the drone is flying at a distance.
If pilots were able to fly their drones beyond their line of sight, they would be able to use visual aids, such as First Person View (FPV) goggles, to keep track of the drone. This would make it much easier for pilots to see and avoid obstacles, and it would also allow them to fly the drone for longer periods of time.
The BVLOS ARC's recommendation is just that, a recommendation. It's up to the FAA to decide whether or not to include BVLOS provisions in the Part 107 certificate.
So what would this mean if the FAA made these recommended changes?
This new level of Part 107 certification would require pilots looking to fly beyond line of sight operations to attend online training and then take an online exam to earn a new certificate. This certificate would be an advanced form of Part 107 operations. With this new certificate, the need to have a CFI (Certified Flight Instructor) for beyond line of sight operations would disappear. Which is good news because it's not economically viable to obtain a manned certificate, let alone a CFI certificate.
It's important to remember that these are recommendations and are currently not being enforced by the FAA. If you have any questions about getting your Part 107 or if you would like more information on what a Part 107 license is, you can click here for more info or call and speak to a Lucid Drone Tech rep today.