Next up in our “Ask Drone Girl” series is about the FAA Part 107 Certified Remote Pilot database. If you have a question for Drone Girl, contact her here.
Does the FAA have a website where you can see if a drone operator has a license to fly commercially?
The short answer is yes! You can browse the FAA’s public registry of Part 107-certifed remote pilots here.
In order to browse the database, you will have to start by submitting information about yourself, including your name and address. From there, you can browse all airmen (okay, how about airwomen?!), whether they are manned or remote pilots. You’ll be able to see each pilot’s certificate and their rating (including that of yours truly).
If you’re hiring someone to do commercial drone work for you, this is a great place to check if that drone pilot is actually certified.
As of March 21, the FAA had issued 37,579 remote pilot certificates, according to an FAA spokesperson.
And if you’re a drone owner who flies commercially but is not yet Part 107-certified, save yourself the embarrassment of not showing up in this database by taking the Part 107 test. I promise, it’s not as hard as it may seem, even if you don’t have a background in aviation. (Here’s my guide and video to taking the Part 107 test, which is a 60-question written test that takes up to 2 hours. If you don’t have a background in aviation, you’ll certainly need to devote a few evenings to studying, but it’s not something you can’t do.
Note that not all pilots who have certificates may show up in your database search. Pilots do have 90 days to opt-out of having their address posted so there is a significant lag in posting, and someone’s legal name may not be the name you know then as when you search them.
Looking for study resources to ensure you pass? I used Drone Pilot Ground School and passed on the first try. I also recommend UAV Ground School — you can save $25 with coupon code DRONEGIRL.
Happy flying, and happy test-taking!