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Drone Part 107 vs Recreational Rules: All You Need To Know

By: Richard J. Gross
Updated On: November 27, 2023

Flying drones is a blast! It’s thrilling to send your drone soaring through the sky and capture those awesome views. But it gets confusing with rules like “Drone Part 107 vs Recreational Rules”. A mix-up could land you in a no-fly zone! Imagine your drone is up there, having fun, and boom – you’re told it’s not allowed. That’s why I’m here to clear the air about those tricky regulations.

Whether you have a drone for business or just for kicks, knowing the rules of the sky is key. So, what’s the difference between Drone Part 107 and recreational flying? In simplest terms, if making money is your aim when that drone takes flight, then you’ll need to follow Part 107 regulations – think of it as getting a driver’s license, but for commercial drones. No cash involved? Just flying for fun? Recreational rules are your go-to guide. Keep under 400 feet, don’t fly at night unless you’ve got special permission, and always keep that drone where you can see it!

The Fundamentals of Drone Part 107 Regulations

Drones have changed the way we see the world. They help us take pictures from the sky and can even be used for work. But when you use a drone for more than just fun, there are rules you must follow. Let’s talk about these rules, which are called “Drone Part 107 regulations.”

Drone Part 107 vs Recreational Rules: The Fundamentals of Drone Part 107 Regulations

Breaking Down Drone Part 107

Drone Part 107 is a set of rules made by the FAA for people who use drones in their work. It’s important because it helps keep everyone safe in the sky and on the ground. Here is what you need to know:

  • Who does it apply to? This rule is for people who fly drones to make money or for any work-related reasons.
  • What does it cover? It talks about how and where you can fly your drone if you’re using it for work.
  • Key aspects include:
    • You must pass a test and get a special certificate to fly.
    • There are limits on where and when you can fly, like not too high or near airports.
    • You can’t fly your drone at night unless you ask for permission.

These points keep everyone using drones on the same page.

Certification Essentials

If you want to use your drone for work, here’s what you need to do:

  • How old do I have to be? At least 16 years old.
  • Do I need to take a test? Yes, a written test that proves you know how to safely fly your drone.
  • What about security? The TSA will check if it’s safe for you to fly drones.

Make sure you’re ready before taking these steps!

Operational Limitations Under Part 107

Flying under Part 107 means following some strict rules so that everyone stays out of harm’s way:

  • How high can I go? Not above 400 feet above ground level (AGL).
  • Do I need to watch my drone all the time?
    • Yes, always keep it within your line of sight.
  • Can I fly any time?
    • Nope! Only during daylight hours or twilight with proper lights on your drone.

Remembering these limitations is very important. Flying safely means respecting these guidelines every time you’re in control of your drone.

Also Read: Fixing Drone Wobbling: Ultimate Guide for Smooth Flights

Recreational Drone Flying

Flying drones for fun is like playing with a high-tech kite but with more rules. People call it recreational drone flying, and it’s for anyone who just wants to have a good time, not for making money. It’s different from flying drones for work or business, where there are stricter rules you have to follow.

Understanding Recreational Rules

What is a recreational drone flying? It’s when you fly your drone just because you love it. You’re not doing any job or task that someone would pay you for. The big rule-makers for the sky called the FAA, have made up some simpler rules for folks like me who just want to fly as a hobby.

Here’s how these playful pastime rules stand out from those toughie Part 107 ones: Fun flyers don’t need to pass any hard tests or get special papers saying they can pilot their drones. None of that worry! But they still need to keep their drones where they can see them and only up as high as a pretty tall tree—no more than 400 feet off the ground.

And while sometimes folks with Part 107 licenses can zip their drones around at night with flashy lights on, hobbyists should tuck theirs in when the sun kisses the horizon goodbye until it peeks out hello again.

The Do’s and Don’ts for Hobbyists

To make sure everything stays safe and no one gets upset:

DO make sure your little sky buddy has its registration number on it, like putting your name on your lunch bag—but only if it weighs more than half a pound.

DON’T play with your drone in the middle of lots of people or whirling cars; finding wide-open spaces is better because accidents happen less often there.

And whatever you do:

DO stay away from places where planes take off and land unless you tell them first—which is only fair—and,

DO keep away from no-fly zones, which are like “do not enter” signs but invisible up in the sky.

If I ever think about taking my drone out after dark or wanting an adventure beyond what my eyes can see, it doesn’t do that unless I ask permission first, and guess what? They might actually say yes!

By following these easy-peasy pointers, we all get to enjoy our flights without getting into trouble or spoiling someone else’s day. Flying safely means we all win!

Also Read: Drone Laws For National Parks In USA

Comparison Between Drone Part 107 vs Recreational Rules

Flying drones has become a popular activity. Some do it for fun, while others make money from it. But did you know there are different rules for these two types of flying?

Comparison Between Drone Part 107 vs Recreational Rules

Let’s talk about the two main ways to fly: under “Drone Part 107 vs Recreational Rules.” The details matter, so let’s make sure we understand them.

Direct Comparison Chart

Imagining a chart helps put things into perspective. If we had one side labeled “Drone Part 107” and the other side “Recreational,” here’s how they would line up:

Flying TypeTest NeededFlight TimeWhere to FlyHeight LimitWeight LimitReason for Flying
Drone Part 107YesDay or night with proper lightsNeed permission for controlled airspace400 feet55 poundsWork
Recreational FlyingNoOnly during daylight hoursStick to areas with no traffic or big groups of people400 feetJust for fun!
Flying Types and Regulations

By comparing like this, it’s easier to see that following “FAA guidelines” depends on why and how you want to fly your drone.

Also Read: What Does A Police Drone Look Like At Night?

Choosing Your Path: Commercial or Recreational?

Now comes an important question – which path is right for you? Are you looking to snap photos at weddings and sell them? That’s commercial use! You’ll need that Part 107 license, which gives more freedom but also comes with more rules. On the other hand, if flying is just a hobby where no money is involved, then recreational rules are what you follow.

Remember, though, even as a hobbyist flyer, following “Recreational drone flying” regulations makes sure everyone stays safe – including your own drone! So keep in mind those safety habits: stay below the treetops (400 feet), keep your eyes on your drone always (visual line of sight), and don’t bother people or airplanes.

Making money? Go get that FAA license (“Part 107 certification”). Just having fun? Stick with simple safety steps. Either way – fly smart and enjoy the skies responsibly!

Also Read: Flying Drones Safely

Advanced Operations Under Part 107

When I get into the details of what it means to fly a drone under the Part 107 regulations, there’s a special side of it that many may not know about. For certain kinds of flights that don’t quite fit into the usual rules, there are things called waivers and authorizations.

Waivers and Authorizations

Sometimes, you might want to do something with your drone that’s not usually allowed under the standard Part 107 rules. This is where waivers come in. They are like getting permission to break these rules a little bit, as long as you can still fly safely.

Here are some common waivers folks ask for:

  • Flying at Night: Normally, you’re not supposed to fly after it gets dark. But with a waiver, you could have your drone up in the air at night.
  • Flying Over People: One basic rule for drones is that you shouldn’t fly over groups of people. If you have a good reason and measures to ensure safety, a waiver could let this happen.
  • Flying Beyond Line of Sight: You’re required to keep your drone where you can see it with just your eyes – no cameras or binoculars! Some advanced operations need more range, though, so this waiver allows for those circumstances.

To get these permissions:

  • Plan Your Flight: You need a good reason and a well-thought-out plan on how you’ll stay safe.
  • Show You’re Safe: Prove that even though what you want to do is normally risky or against the rules, your plan makes it just as safe as normal flying.
  • Apply Through FAA: There’s an official way of asking through an online portal with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
  • Wait for Approval: After sending your plan off into cyberspace, all there’s left to do is wait patiently – sometimes weeks or months! – for them to say okay (or not).

And here’s something bold: If they give you one of these waivers? It means they trust you to keep our skies friendly and free from accidents.

Flying drones involves respecting lots of Drone regulations but knowing about Drone Part 107 vs Recreational Rules helps make sure everyone gets their share of sky-time without trouble – from business folks mapping farmlands with drones all fancy-like using their perks under Part 107 to me just enjoying some easy breezy flying time at my local park under recreational rules.

Also Read: Ways to make your drone quieter

Protecting Privacy and Safety in Both Arenas

When I fly my drone, I take care not to invade anyone’s privacy or put people at risk. The rules for flying drones, whether for work or fun, take both these things very seriously. I’m here to talk about the ways both Drone Part 107 and recreational rules try to safeguard privacy and keep everyone safe.

Drone Part 107 vs Recreational Rules: Protecting Privacy and Safety in Both Arenas

Navigating Privacy Concerns

The sky above us isn’t a free-for-all where drones can peek into windows or snoop around as they please. Both Part 107 and recreational drone flying have guidelines to prevent this:

  • Be mindful of personal space: For everyone’s peace of mind, it’s crucial that I don’t fly my drone too close to others unless they’re okay with it.
  • Respect people’s privacy: This means not flying over private homes or gardens without permission.
  • Stay low-key in public areas: If I’m near beaches or parks, my drone shouldn’t be buzzing overhead, making people uncomfortable.
  • Use common sense: A good rule is simply thinking about how I’d feel if a drone were hovering near me.

The FAA reminds us that we’re responsible for respecting other’s privacy when our drones are up in the air.

Ensuring Public Safety

Flying safely is about more than just avoiding crashes – it’s looking after the well-being of folks on the ground, too:

  • Stay away from crowds: It might sound obvious, but keeping clear of big gatherings is important for safety.
  • For me, as a Drone Part 107 vs Recreational Rules flyer, here are some must-follow rules:
    • No reckless moves! We all want our flights to be smooth and trouble-free.
    • Wildlife should be left alone animals get scared easily by unfamiliar buzzing objects.
    • Keeping away from other aircraft makes sure the skies stay friendly for everyone.

Whether under Drone Part 107 or recreational guidelines, pilots like me always put safety first – keeping flights enjoyable but harmless.

By sticking closely to these principles in both commercial and leisurely flying scenarios, we protect what’s important on the ground while enjoying our time in the air.

Also Read: Drone Laws in the USA

Regulatory Updates Involving Drones in National Airspace

When it comes to drones, the sky is almost the limit. But even the sky has rules. You see, flying drones isn’t just about soaring through blue skies and capturing breathtaking views; it’s also about knowing your limits, especially from a legal standpoint.

And these limits change; they morph with each new tech advance or fresh idea someone has for using their drone. That’s why we need to keep track of what’s new and what’s changed on the radar of drone regulations.

Keeping Up with Regulatory Changes

If you’ve got a drone or are thinking of getting one, you’ve got to stay sharp about the law. Recently, there have been some important updates that you should know about:

  • Reviewing Recent Law Changes: Laws governing drones get updates now and then because technology doesn’t sit still – nor do the imaginative ways we find to use these flying gizmos.

Let me break down a few key changes for you:

  • Commercial pilots now need Remote ID. What’s that? Think of it like a digital license plate on your drone.
  • Flying over people is getting trickier. With safety concerns on their minds, authorities are tightening up where drones can buzz around overhead.
  • Night flights aren’t just a no-go anymore – well, not always. With the right lights and clearances, pilots can delve into the darkness with their eyes in the skies.

And this isn’t all written in stone, either! The rules might shuffle around as new concerns pop up or as they find better ways to handle old ones:

  • Technology Evolves: Every time someone tweaks our tech for something brand spanking new, laws might need an upgrade, too.
  • What are your favorite spots to fly? They could change! If more folks start flocking there or if it’s near some crucial infrastructure, expect some red tape or signs saying “Keep Out!”
  • Safety is king when flying these beasts! So if there’s anything out there making things less safe, rules will swoop in like superheroes,… changing them for our good.

Flying responsibly means not only maneuvering your UAV without crashing into things but also knowing that behind every flight path you chart out may lie invisible boundaries set by law.

So, how do we stay updated?

  • Keep an eye on FAA announcements – they’re like dispatches from headquarters!
  • Join communities: Other droners are living this life too; they might hear the news before others.
  • Lend an ear at clubs: Local drone clubs often have seasoned fliers who sniff out any whiff of regulatory change coming downwind.

Know your stuff before takeoff: nose around for info regularly—laws controlling your lofty hobbies keep shifting, so make sure your feet (and your drone) don’t end up offside!


What are some examples of activities classified under Drone Part 107?

Activities like aerial photography for real estate, inspecting power lines or taking shots for a movie count as commercial and need a Drone Part 107 license.

How can I obtain a Part 107 license?

To get your Part 107 license, you need to pass an FAA test and apply for the certificate. It’s key to know the rules if you plan to fly drones commercially.

What are the penalties for flying a drone without a license?

The FAA can hit you with fines if you’re caught flying without proper licensing, especially if it’s for commercial reasons. Worse case, legal action could be on the table.

What alterations have there been in the Part 107 updates?

The newest changes mean pilots with a Part 107 can now fly at night under certain conditions and over people if their drone meets specific criteria.


Navigating the skies with a drone comes with its own set of rules, whether I’m flying for fun or profit. Understanding the Drone Part 107 vs Recreational Rules is crucial for staying compliant and enjoying my time piloting these magnificent machines.

From requiring certification and understanding operational limits under Drone Part 107 to know the simpler guidelines for recreational flying, it’s all about being responsible in the air.

Key Points to Remember

  • Obtain Part 107 certification for commercial drone use.
  • Follow recreational rules strictly for hobbyist flights.
  • Stay informed on changing FAA guidelines and regulations.
  • Fly safely to protect privacy, public safety, and wildlife.
Richard J. Gross

Hi, my name is Richard J. Gross and I’m a full-time Airbus pilot and commercial drone business owner. I got into drones in 2015 when I started doing aerial photography for real estate companies. I had no idea what I was getting into at the time, but it turns out that police were called on me shortly after I started flying. They didn’t like me flying my drone near people, so they asked me to come train their officers on the rules and regulations for drones. After that, I decided to start my own drone business and teach others about the safe and responsible use of drones.

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