The FAA has sent out this notice to UAS Part 107 pilots. Important information for COA pilots is below the Part 107 update.
The first Remote Pilot certificates were issued in August 2016 and are nearing the end of their 24 calendar month currency. Remote drone pilots must complete a recurrent training course or pass a recurrent knowledge test within 24 calendar months to continue to exercise the privileges of their Remote Pilot certificates.
If you are a drone and manned pilot (Part 61 qualified and hold a current flight review) you can either:
- Take the recurrent Part 107 Knowledge Test at a Knowledge Test Center testing facility, or
- Take the online training course, “Part 107 Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (small UAS) Recurrent,” on the FAA Safety team website.
View the list of Knowledge Testing Centers (PDF) to find one near you.
Contact the Knowledge Test Service Providers:
– CATS: Call 800-947-4228
– PSI: Call 800-211-2754
Be certain to bring your FAA certification AND a valid government-issued photo ID with you to the testing location.
Where can I find study materials?
The FAA is committed to providing training materials to remote pilots. All necessary study materials are available online, free of charge.
Applicants are encouraged to review the following documents before taking the Knowledge Test or completing the online training course:
- Airman Certification Standards (ACS) for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (PDF)
- Remote Pilot Study Guide (PDF)
- Online sample questions (PDF)
Mysterious Recurrency Requirements for COA UAS Pilots
In the proverbial mess that COAs have created (read this) getting recurrent with your COA agency is a liability minefield.
The COA does not specify the training or currency. As a public aircraft operator, the public agency, itself, makes the determination of how they will ensure the pilots operating under their COA are certified and what their currency requirements are. But the requirements have to be substantial enough to demonstrate appropriate regulatory oversight by the COA agency.
If the public agency states that they will use the Part 107 remote pilot standards as their means of ensuring their pilots have the appropriate training and that the pilot will hold a part 107 certificate when they fly, then the certificate and the re-currency training will be the requirement for them when they operate under the COA.
If the public agency decides that they will establish their own training program then they would have to also establish a currency program to ensure that their pilots remained current.
So a COA program must have a recurrency plan that meets at least the Part 107 standards since we know that is what the FAA expects to see regarding pilot competence. So again the agency is left with reinventing the wheel or just making sure all COA pilots have taken and passed the Part 107 test and seek to stay current on the Part 107 certification.
And let’s not forget, not all COA flights are public aircraft operations (PAO) but the Part 107 certificate would cover the pilots in those non-PAO flights.