Recertification for Part 107 is Now Online – and Free!
Covid restrictions have made recertification particularly problematic for pilots whose 24-month certification has expired. One of the most helpful changes in the final rule is to allow the remote pilot to extend their certification simply by undertaking updated recurrent online training.
This new online training will include new subject areas - enabling operations at night. The recurrent online training will be offered free of charge to remote pilots - another welcome change.
The earliest that the updated online testing and recurrent training required to conduct night operations will be available 45 days after publication of this rule in the federal register.
NOTE: If you are currently flying with a Part 107 waiver for nighttime operations, you will need to undertake this training within 120 days of publication, giving you a 75-day window to complete the updated testing or training.
Broadcast Remote ID Requirements
An important piece to call out here: drone pilots will not be subject to Remote ID regulations until earliest August 2023.
The final rule states that Remote ID is a technology to “address safety, national security, and law enforcement concerns regarding the further integration of these aircraft into the airspace of the United States.”
Therefore, the goal of Remote ID is to assuage security concerns to open up our skies by making it simple for law enforcement and national security services to identify bad actors. Congress required the FAA to work on this project as part of the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Bill.
As published in the final rule, compliance with Remote ID requires a simple broadcast-based system from a compliant drone. The drone itself will need to broadcast its position and the position of the ground station operator. In fact, existing drones will likely be compliant with this rule in the future through a routine firmware upgrade or a cheap retrofit device.
The significant change (since the draft rule was published) is that the more complex “Network Remote ID” requirement has been dropped. Previously, the expectation was that every pilot would have subscribed to an internet-based subscription service to report their position. Also removed were requirements for flights in offline locations, which appeared to create an additional administrative burden on pilots.