Some restrictions, and operators would need to pass an FAA written exam only, to obtain unmanned aerial systems certification and to operate UAS craft pursuant to a new Part 107 of the FAA regulations. The written test would be based on the content of the Airman’s Information Manual (AIM) plus additional content regarding UAS. Currently certified pilots of manned aircraft would also need to take the UAS certification exam, but it is expected this would require minimal study due to their knowledge of aviation. UAS operators would also need to pass a security threat assessment by the TSA (required of all pilots already). Once that is done, the UAS pilot would receive a unmanned pilot’s certificate with UAS endorsement. For commercial use, an UAS craft would also require an FAA registration number ($5 fee).
The exam could be given by a designated pilot examiner, a certificated flight instructor, or others designated by the FAA. Examination would be required every 2 years.
Total estimated costs for the initial certification are estimated by the FAA at about $300 including exam fees and TSA threat assessment.