Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted recreational drone pilots access to Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC). This removed a huge bottleneck for the pilots as they were extremely restricted on where they could legally fly. Understandably the public wanted to know if they'd be held to the same standards at Part 107-certified commercial remote pilots, who are required to pass a knowledge exam.

The FAA has officially responded by issuing a Request for Information (RFI) this week. They are currently looking to identify and work with stakeholders in the industry on the administration of a new aeronautical knowledge test for recreational drone pilots. Thanks to significant technological advancements over the past few years, operating a drone is relatively easy to the point where they can be flown safely with minimal knowledge. By updating Section 349 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, the government agency plans to educate current recreational pilots and bring them into the fold of safe, responsible small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) culture.

The amended law will require recreational pilots to pass this newly constructed aeronautical knowledge and safety test, to demonstrate they understand the rules. The FAA is currently developing the testing material with stakeholders.

The amended law will require recreational pilots to pass this newly constructed aeronautical knowledge and safety test, to demonstrate they understand the rules. The FAA is currently developing the testing material with stakeholders. They are currently looking for third-party entities, testing designees, to collaborate with on administering the knowledge training and test content across various FAA-approved platforms.

Testing designees should have the ability to reach the widest audience possible and also develop a standard electronic record that will be issued immediately to the pilot upon successful completion of the test. They will also provide necessary documentation, similar to what a newly-minted Part 107 remote pilot receives, that can be shown to the FAA or local law enforcement if required.

Those interested in participating are encouraged to review the RFI and respond by September 12, 2019.