The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST)
Starting in June 2021, all recreational flyers must pass an aeronautical knowledge and safety test and provide proof of test passage (the TRUST completion certificate) to the FAA or law enforcement (including campus police) upon request. The test is free for everyone and takes 20-30 minutes to complete.
You may take The Recreational UAS Safety Test at any of the administrators found on the FAA’s website: https://www.faa.gov/uas/recreational_fliers/knowledge_test_updates/
The TRUST is divided into two sections:
- The first section provides you with the information needed to pass the test.
- The second section is a series of multiple choice questions. You cannot fail the test. If you answer a question incorrectly you will be provided with information on why the answer you chose was incorrect and will be promoted to try again.
Upon completion of the TRUST you will receive a completion certificate. The certificate never expires however if you lose your certificate you will need to re-take the test and obtain a new certificate. Neither the test administrator, nor the FAA, will maintain personally identifiable information about the recreational flyer so it is not possible to re-print or re-issue your original certificate. We recommend uploading your certificate to UC Drones so that you have a backup copy available.
NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS)
The NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) is a voluntary, confidential, non-punitive, safety reporting system that receives safety reports from pilots, air traffic controllers, dispatchers, cabin crew, maintenance technicians, and now UAS operators. Anyone involved in UAS operations can file a NASA ASRS report to describe close calls, hazards, violations, and safety related incidents.
ASRS has been an important part of the aviation safety culture for over 45 years and has collected and analyzed over 1.7 million safety reports to date. All reports are held in strict confidence by NASA and de-identified by ASRS Safety Analysts. The resulting anonymous aviation safety data and lessons learned are shared with the aviation and UAS communities to prevent accidents and help make UAS operations safer.
When in doubt, fill it out! https://asrs.arc.nasa.gov/report/caveat.html?formType=uas
Regulations Update 2021 Quick Answers
On December 27, 2020, the DOT and the FAA released the final version of two highly anticipating regulations. The new rules will require Remote Identification (Remote ID) of drones and allow operators of small drones to fly over people and at night under certain conditions.
The FAA press release has links to the final rules and executive summaries.
We’ll be updating this page with Frequently Asked Questions
What is the new Remote Pilot Certificate Renewal Program?
Starting April 6, 2021, the new free and online Remote Pilot Certificate Program will be available through the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) website here: https://www.faasafety.gov/default.aspx. It will replace the certificate renewal test (Unmanned General - Recurrent: UGR) test. This new renewal program will take about 2 hours to complete and will include a multiple choice exam. Completing this renewal program will allow RPICs to take advantage of the regulatory changes enabling flight operations at night and over people with qualified drones.
Will this stop my current flight operations?
Absolutely not. Any current operation may continue as previously approved. The new regulations will not impose any new restrictions until Summer 2023. Further guidance will be provided as we get closer.
Do I need to buy something to be compliant?
Honestly, probably not. Many drones are a firmware update away from compliance and mandatory compliance will not be until Summer 2023. For those drones that cannot be made Remote ID compliant via firmware update, expect to see Remote ID retrofit kits on the market within the next year or so.
Should I wait to buy a Remote ID compliant drone?
If you need to purchase a drone for immediate use, you should. But expect to see Remote ID compliant drones on the market by Summer 2022 if you think you can wait that long.
Is there a difference between a Standard Remote ID drone and one that is retrofitted?
Yes, but the difference will not likely to be significant for most users in the near-term. Retrofitted drones will be prohibited from Beyond Visual Line of Sight flight operations. While many researchers are hoping to expand to BVLOS flight operations, FAA waivers will continue to be difficult to obtain for a handful more years. If you are hoping to expand to BVLOS flight operations, you should consider waiting until Standard Remote ID drones are on the market.
When can I start flying over people?
Flight authorizations for drones in Category 1 (Under 250 grams with rotor protections) will be allowed as soon as the Final Rule is enacted (March). Flight authorizations in Category 2 and 3 require an FAA certificate to be issued to the manufacturer which may take some additional time. However, there are a handful of models that are expected to receive a certificate shortly.
- The Mavic Mini 2 is not eligible for Category 1 - with the attached required rotor protections, the final weight exceeds the 250 g threshold. However, the Mavic Mini 2 is likely to obtain Category 2 approval quickly.
- The Mavic 2 Series are likely to be eligible for Category 2 with an ASTM certified parachute system
When can I start flying at night?
You can start flying at night under the UC night flying waiver, or otherwise, you must wait until you take the upcoming FAA UAS training for certificate renewal. The new training has not yet been published, but is anticipated within the next month or two.
The Categories of Drones
The revision of Part 107 regulations and the introduction of RemoteID regulations have created 15 categories of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems.
|Standard Remote ID||Broadcast/Retrofit Remote ID||No Remote ID|
|Cat 0 - Not Eligible for Flights Over People||No flights over people. BVLOS (with waiver)||No flights over people. VLOS only||No flights over people. VLOS only. FRIA only (2023)|
|Cat 1 - < 250 g + rotor protections||Flights over open air assemblies of people. BVLOS (with waiver)||Flights over open air assemblies of people. VLOS only||Over some people allowed. No flights over open air assemblies of people. VLOS only. FRIA only (2023)|
|Cat 2 - FAA cert - < 11 lb ft KE + rotor protections||Flights over open air assemblies of people. BVLOS (with waiver)||Flights over open air assemblies of people. VLOS only||Over some people allowed. No flights over open air assemblies of people. FRIA only (2023)|
|Cat 3 - FAA cert - < 25 lb ft KE + rotor protections||Flights over open air assemblies of people in access-controlled locations. BVLOS (with waiver).||Flights over open air assemblies of people in access-controlled locations. VLOS only.||Over some people allowed. No flights over open air assemblies of people. VLOS only. FRIA only (2023)|
|Cat 4 - FAA cert – Part 21 Airworthiness||Flights over open air assemblies of people. BVLOS (with waiver)||Flights over open air assemblies of people. VLOS only.||Over some people allowed. No flights over open air assemblies of people.VLOS only. FRIA only (2023).|