To become a pilot you must:
- Be at least 16 years old
- Be able to read, speak, write, and understand English (exceptions may be made if the person is unable to meet one of these requirements for a medical reason, such as hearing impairment)
- Be in a physical and mental condition to safely operate a small UAS
- Pass the initial aeronautical knowledge exam at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center
- Pilot certificate Requirements
- Must be easily accessible by the remote pilot during all UAS operations
- Valid for 2 years – certificate holders must pass a recurrent knowledge test every two years
- Schedule an appointment with a Knowledge Testing Center (KTC), which administer initial and recurrent FAA knowledge exams
- View the list of Knowledge Testing Centers (PDF) to find one near you.
- Applicants must bring government-issued photo ID to their test
Aeronautical Knowledge Test
Pass the initial aeronautical knowledge test – initial knowledge test areas include:
- Applicable regulations relating to small unmanned aircraft system rating privileges, limitations, and flight operation
- Airspace classification and operating requirements, and flight restrictions affecting small unmanned aircraft operation
- Aviation weather sources and effects of weather on small unmanned aircraft performance
- Small unmanned aircraft loading and performance
- Emergency procedures
- Crew resource management
- Radio communication procedures
- Determining the performance of small unmanned aircraft
- Physiological effects of drugs and alcohol
- Aeronautical decision-making and judgment
- Airport operations
- Maintenance and preflight inspection procedures
A confirmation email will be sent when an applicant has completed the TSA security background check. This email will provide instructions for printing a copy of the temporary remote pilot certificate from IACRA.
A permanent remote pilot certificate will be sent via mail once all other FAA-internal processing is complete.
* Applicants who do not wish to complete FAA Form 8710-13 online may choose the paper process.
Please note that the processing time will be longer if a paper application is used since it requires in-person approval and signature by a designated pilot examiner (DPE), an airman certification representative (ACR), or an FAA-certificated flight instructor (CFI), and must then be mailed to a
Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) for final review and signature. Additionally, a temporary remote pilot certificate will not be provided to the applicant.
Instructions for completing the paper application process may be found in Chapter 6, Section 4 of the Part 107 Advisory Circular.
Photography courtesy of Unsplash.