5 Reasons for FAA-Certified Drone Service Providers

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This is the first in a series of “Five Reasons” articles. Over the next several months, we’ll explore key areas for consideration, what to look for and questions to ask when hiring a commercial drone service provider to fly your important mission.

5 Reasons to Insist that Your Drone Service Provider is an FAA-Certified Remote Pilot

1. Flying a Drone for Commercial Purposes Without FAA Part 107 Certification is Illegal 

The civil penalties for flying a commercial drone without an FAA remote pilot’s certificate are up to $32,666 for each incidence. After the violator receives a letter of warning letter from the FAA, this fine may be charged per day for continual illegal use of a drone for commercial purposes. The FAA may also impose criminal sanctions, which include a fine of up to $250,000 and/or a prison sentence of up to three years upon conviction (49 U.S.C. § 46306(b) and (d)).

2. Hiring an Unlicensed Commercial Drone Service Provider is Illegal

Federal statute (49 U.S. Code § 46306(b)(8)) declares that “a person shall be fined (up to $250,000) under title 18, imprisoned for not more than 3 years, or both, if the person . . .  knowingly and willfully employs for service or uses in any capacity . . . an individual who does not have an airman’s certificate authorizing the individual to serve in that capacity”

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A Safe Bet: Certified and insured drone service providers

3. Aviation Knowledge and Regulatory Compliance

A commercial drone pilot has a primary responsibility to follow all regulations established by the FAA to keep our national air space safe for everyone. A certified commercial drone pilot will understand where, when and how high they can fly and, if needed, they’ll know how to get permission to fly in different classes of air space. 

4. Safety

Flying a drone is relatively simple and straightforward, but flying safely is an entirely different matter. Licensed drone pilots spend many hours learning FAA drone regulations – rules that are designed to keep people, property and air space safe. They understand how wind speed, visibility, clouds and other conditions can affect flights;  and make safety a priority by adhering to crew resource management and medical guidelines while following proven risk management protocols and procedures.

5. Professionalism

A licensed drone pilot should be expected to demonstrate professionalism through an unwavering commitment to FAA regulatory compliance, safety procedures, respect for privacy, and legal and ethical operations. Additionally, it’s important to  factor in their level of experience and ability to capture the high-quality aerial data required for your important project. 


As the drone industry transitions from nascent to mainstream, demand for FAA-Certified Remote Pilots continues to grow as well, and it becomes more important than ever to protect yourself from personal and professional liability. When hiring a drone service provider, ask to see their FAA Remote Pilot credentials, insurance, and preflight checklists to ensure that you are working with someone who is truly committed to professionalism and regulatory compliance.

From The Editor:

Do you need to hire a professional drone service provider?  To speak to an aerial data specialist, fill out a form, email us or for even faster response times, give us a call at (833) FLY-4YOU or (833) 359-4968.  Check out our transparent pricing at Drone Photography Pricing and watch this space as we expand on the above topics and more over the coming weeks and months.  If you like this post, feel free to click the share button at the bottom of the page.  We appreciate you helping us by spreading the content we share on our blog.

Jim Brammer