In an educational setting, flying can occur under commercial sUAS operations (FAR 107), or depending on the nature of the flying, you may qualify for an exemption. Exempt activities include flying indoors or when teachers are not the Remote-Pilot-In-Command.
The FAA distinguishes sUAS operations into two categories, commercial operations under FAR 107 or operations exempted for recreational/community-based organizations and institutions of high education.
FAR 107 Operations
Part 107 Operations is the primary law for flying small drones (less than 55 lbs.) in the United States. You can fly under Part 107 rules for many reasons, including work or business, recreation, education, or for public safety missions.
Required Registration (Step 3)
Depending on the nature of your operations, you may qualify exemption to Part 107. If you are a recreational flyer or part of a community-based organization, you may qualify for exemption under USC 44809. Additionally, PL 115-254, Section 350 distinguishes some educational and research uses of drones by institutions of higher education as recreational in nature.
Required Certificate – The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) coming soon!
States may also have their own requirements and you should check with yours. In Minnesota for example. the Department of Transportation, Office of Aeronautics requires drones to be registered within the state. As an educational entity, there is no applicable fee or proof of insurance requirement. For any additional questions, please contact the Aircraft Registration Unit at (651) 234-7201.
Aircraft Registration Application (PDF)
Th National Airspace System is comprised of different types of airspace. NCAT highly recommends using the FAA's B4UFly App before every flight to ensure you're authorized to fly.
Flying in Controlled Airspace
If you wish to fly in controlled airspace, you need to operate under Part 107 and request permission to fly through an approved LAANC provider.
UAS Data Exchange (LAANC)
What is FRIA?
New FAA regulations requiring Remote ID will go into effect in September 2022. Educational institutions qualify for an exemption, but need to apply.
Remote ID for FAA-Recognized Identification Areas (FRIAs)
Check out previous webinar sessions that NCAT has hosted on challenges of starting a drone program, which include equipment costs, administrative support, liability concerns, curriculum offerings and what faculty need to teach the courses. We cover how to overcome challenges and provide resources that are helpful for new start-ups.
We also sat down with representatives from the FAA to discuss the updated rules and regulations around Remote ID, operations over people and night time operations. It is important to stay up-to-date with the changes in regulations and NCAT will help keep you informed on changes that come from the FAA.