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UAV Coach Selected Among Drone Stakeholders to Help the FAA Develop the Recreational Drone Flyer Test

BY Isabella Lee
10 December 2019

This week, the FAA announced the 12 organizations selected to advise the agency in developing the Recreational Drone Flyer Test. We are excited to announce that UAV Coach has been selected as one of the organizations, and we will be participating in developing the test administration process.

UAV Coach was selected on account of our response to a Request for Information (RFI) issued by the FAA earlier this year. The FAA’s objective is to work with third-party entities to allow them to administer the knowledge training and test content on various platforms for the recreational flyer community.

We’re excited to have a seat at the table and look forward to working with the FAA and other drone industry stakeholders to make the recreational drone flyer testing process as straightforward and seamless as possible.

—Alan Perlman, CEO of UAV Coach

These are all 12 organizations selected to advise the FAA in developing the recreational test administration process:

  • UAV Coach
  • Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Drone Launch Academy / Southeastern University
  • Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC)
  • DJI
  • Horizon Hobby, LLC.
  • King Schools
  • Unmanned Safety Institute
  • First Person View (FPV) Freedom Coalition
  • Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
  • Academy of Model Aeronautics
  • Drone Racing League

UAV Coach and the above organizations will make recommendations to the FAA on the safety test administration requirements. From these recommendations, the FAA will develop the final requirements that potential test administrators must meet. The FAA will provide updates on these requirements and any associated selection criteria for test administrators on FAA.gov.

The Recreational Drone Flyer Test is One Step Closer

Drone rules for recreational drone pilots have changed significantly over the past year, due to the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. The Act had big implications for recreational flyers and hobbyists.

For starters, recreational drone pilots are now required to get a waiver or LAANC approval before flying in controlled airspace. Historically hobbyists were allowed to fly within five miles of an airport so long as they followed the five-mile rule, which required them to notify the airport and the air traffic control tower (if one was present) before doing so. This is no longer the case.

The next big change coming up for recreational drone pilots is a mandatory testing requirement. The FAA is developing a test to increase the aeronautical knowledge of recreational drone flyers. This is a good thing. There are more than one million FAA-registered recreational drone flyers. Many recreational drones are flown today with minimal training or knowledge of aviation rules or safety practices. The new testing requirement provides an opportunity to educate recreational flyers on UAS safety and to bring new flyers into the existing aviation safety culture.

Drone Safety

Find safety information for recreational and commercial drone pilots on FAA.gov/uas.

The test will be administered electronically by the FAA, community-based organizations, or others designated by the FAA. Recreational flyers will be required to take the test and carry proof of test passage with them while operating a drone. We don’t know yet when the test will be finalized or made available to recreational drone pilots.

The selection of the 12 industry stakeholders to assist in developing the test administration process is a significant step forward and signals that the FAA is ready to move forward with the Recreational Drone Flyer Test fairly soon.

We want your input on what would make the Recreational Drone Flyer Test the most accessible and simple for you to accomplish. Head over to our community forum to share your ideas and thoughts so we can take them into consideration as we work with the FAA and drone stakeholders to develop the test administration process.

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