UAS Operations

Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are inherently different from manned aircraft. Introducing UAS into the nation's airspace is challenging for both the FAA and aviation community, because the U.S. has the busiest, most complex airspace in the world. 

 What are the main requirements needed for someone to operate an unmanned aircraft or drone for a business?

They need:

  1. a Section 333 grant of exemption, or a Part 107
  2. a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA),

  3. an aircraft registered with the FAA, and

  4. a pilot with a FAA airman certificate

Unless you are flying only for hobby or recreational purposes, you will need FAA authorization via a Section 333 grant of exemption to fly your unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for your business. This applies even if you are only flying to supplement or aide your business and not charging fees for doing so.

What is a commercial (for business) use of UAS?  

Any commercial use in connection with a business, including:

  1. Selling photos or videos taken from a UAS
  2. Using UAS to provide contract services, such as industrial equipment or factory inspection
  3. Using UAS to provide professional services, such as security or telecommunications
For More Information:

By law, any aircraft operating in the national airspace requires a certified and registered aircraft, a licensed pilot, and operational approval.

Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA) (PDF) grants the Secretary of Transportation the authority to determine whether an airworthiness certificate is required for a UAS to operate safely in the National Airspace System (NAS).

The Section 333 Exemption process provides operators who wish to pursue safe and legal entry into the NAS a competitive advantage in the UAS marketplace, thus discouraging illegal operations and improving safety. It is anticipated that this activity will result in significant economic benefits, and the FAA Administrator has identified this as a high-priority project to address the demand for civil operation of UAS for commercial purposes.

For More Information:

Aloft Aerial Photography no longer offers UAS (Unmanned aircraft systems) services. Please be careful with selecting a UAS operator for your job. We found that many of our our customers were simply unhappy with drone photography and have since returned to the traditional professional aerial photography as offered by Aloft Aerial Photography.