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8900.1 CHG 477

VOLUME 16  UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS

CHAPTER 3  AIRMEN CERTIFICATION

Section 1  Remote Pilots

16-3-1-1    OBJECTIVE. This section provides guidance to process an application for a remote pilot certificate with a small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) rating for civil sUAS operations. Once it is determined the applicant meets the eligibility requirements in accordance with Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 107, Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, the application can be processed. Part 107 governs civil operations; therefore, operations conducted as public or hobby and recreation are not subject to this section. The successful completion of this task results in the processing of the applicant’s application and the issuance of a temporary operating certificate, as appropriate.

16-3-1-3    PROGRAM TRACKING AND REPORTING SUBSYSTEM (PTRS) ACTIVITY CODE. 1509.

16-3-1-5    REMOTE PILOT ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR INITIAL CERTIFICATION. A person applying for a remote pilot certificate with an sUAS rating must meet and maintain, as applicable, the following eligibility requirements:

    Be at least 16 years of age.

    Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. However, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) may make an exception if the person is unable to meet one of these requirements due to medical reasons, such as hearing impairment.

    Be in a physical and mental condition that would not interfere with the safe operation of an sUAS.

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    Pass the initial aeronautical knowledge written examination at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center (KTC). However, a person who already holds an Airman Certificate issued under 14 CFR part 61 and has successfully completed a flight review in accordance with part 61, 61.56 (or meets other criteria in 61.56) within the previous 24 calendar-months is only required to successfully complete an online training course, ALC-451, Part 107 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS), available at https://www.FAASafety.gov. (Refer to part 107, 107.65.)

NOTE:  Additionally, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screens all pilot certificate applicants and holders.

NOTE:  Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) pilot time may not be used to meet the aeronautical experience requirements towards the issuance of a pilot certificate under part 61.

16-3-1-7    APPLICATION PROCEDURE. This paragraph provides guidance on how a person can apply for a remote pilot certificate.

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A.    Applicants Without a Part 61 Certificate. A person who does not hold a part 61 pilot certificate, a part 61 Airman Certificate holder1 who does not have a current flight review (or other criteria) in accordance with 61.56, or a part 61 Airman Certificate holder who voluntarily elects to use this process must:

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1)    Pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test. An applicant must go to a KTC to take and pass the FAA sUAS knowledge test (Unmanned Aircraft General (UAG)).
2)    Complete the FAA Remote Pilot Certificate and/or Rating Application for a remote pilot certificate (FAA Form 8710-13).
a)    Option 1 (Online Form). This is the fastest and simplest method. The FAA Form 8710-13 application should be completed online using the electronic FAA Integrated Airman Certification and/or Rating Application (IACRA) system (https://iacra.faa.gov/iacra/). The applicant must have already passed an initial aeronautical knowledge test. Once registered with IACRA, he or she will log in with their username and password. The applicant will click on “Start New Application” and 1) Application Type “Pilot,” 2) Certifications “Remote Pilot,” 3) “Other Path Information,” and 4) “Start Application.” The applicant will continue through the application process and, when prompted, enter the 17-digit Knowledge Test Exam ID from the knowledge test in IACRA. It may take up to 48 hours from the test date for the knowledge test to appear in IACRA. The KTC test proctor will be the one that verified the identity of the applicant. Once the applicant completes the online application in IACRA, he or she will sign the application electronically and submit it to the Airman Registry for processing. No FAA representative will be required to sign the application if the applicant was able to self-certify.

NOTE:  When the applicant uses this online option, the application will be transmitted electronically from the applicant to the Airman Registry. The only electronic signature that will be reflected on the IACRA application will be the applicant’s. The applicant will then receive a confirmation email once his or her application has completed the TSA vetting process. The email will provide information that will allow the applicant to log into the IACRA system and print a copy of the temporary certificate.

b)    Option 2 (Paper Application). An applicant could also submit a paper application. If the applicant chooses the paper method, the original initial aeronautical knowledge test report must be mailed with the application to the following address:
DOT/FAA
Airmen Certification Branch (AFS-760)
P.O. Box 25082
Oklahoma City, OK 73125

NOTE:  A Temporary Airman Certificate will not be provided to the remote pilot applicant if they do not hold a part 61 certificate. For this reason, it would be in the applicant’s best interest to utilize Option 1 (IACRA system) instead of the paper method, in order to receive a Temporary Airman Certificate once the application has completed the TSA vetting process.

3)    Receive permanent remote pilot certificate once all other FAA internal processing is complete.
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B.    Applicants with a Part 61 Pilot Certificate. Instead of the process described above, a person who holds a part 61 pilot certificate and meets the criteria of 61.56, has completed a flight review, or meets the criteria in 61.56 within the previous 24 calendar-months may elect to apply using the following process:

1)    Complete the online course (Part 107 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS), ALC-451), located within the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) Web site (https://www.FAASafety.gov), and receive a completion certificate.
2)    Complete the Remote Pilot Certificate and/or Rating Application (FAA Form 8710-13).
a)    Option 1 (Online Application). In almost all cases, the application should be completed online using the electronic FAA IACRA system (https://iacra.faa.gov/iacra/). The applicant must include verification that he or she completed the online course or passed an initial aeronautical knowledge test. The applicable official document(s) must be uploaded into IACRA either by the applicant or the certifying officer.
b)    Option 2 (Paper). The application may be completed on paper. Using this method, the certificate of completion for the online course or original initial aeronautical knowledge test report must be included with the application. Please note that the processing time will be increased if a paper application is used.
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3)    Contact a Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE), an Airman Certification Representative (ACR), or an FAA certificated flight instructor (CFI) to make an appointment to validate the applicant’s identification. The applicant must present the completed FAA Form 8710‑13 along with the online course completion certificate or knowledge test report (as applicable) and proof of a current flight review or other criteria required by 61.56. The FAA Form 8710-13 application will be signed by the applicant after the FSDO, DPE, ACR, or CFI examines the applicant’s photo identification and verifies the applicant’s identity. The FAA representative will then sign the application. The identification presented must include a photograph of the applicant, the applicant’s signature, and the applicant’s actual residential address (if different from the mailing address). This information may be presented in more than one form of identification. Acceptable methods of identification include, but are not limited to, U.S. drivers’ licenses, government identification cards, passports, and military identification cards (refer to the current edition of Advisory Circular (AC) 61-65, Certification: Pilots and Flight and Ground Instructors). If using paper or the IACRA method, an appropriate FSDO representative, a DPE, or an ACR will issue the applicant a Temporary Airman Certificate.

NOTE:  A CFI is not authorized to issue a temporary certificate. If using IACRA and the applicant is utilizing a CFI as the FAA representative, the applicant can print their own Temporary Airman Certificate after receiving an email from the FAA notifying them that it is available. If using the paper method and the applicant is utilizing a CFI as the FAA representative, the applicant will not be issued a Temporary Airman Certificate. Once the FSDO has signed and approved the application, it will be mailed to the Airman Registry for the issuance of the permanent certificate.

4)    Receive the permanent remote pilot certificate once all other FAA internal processing is complete.

16-3-1-9    TEMPORARY AIRMAN CERTIFICATE. Aviation safety inspectors (ASI), DPEs, and ACRs will fill out FAA Form 8060-4, Temporary Airman Certificate, in the same manner as any other Temporary Airman Certificate. Block IX should be completed with “Remote Pilot.” Block XII will be completed with “small unmanned aircraft system” in the Ratings and Limitations section. No limitations should be inserted at this time. All other blocks will be filled out in the same manner as any other Temporary Airman Certificate.

Figure 16-3-1A.  Sample FAA Form 8060-4, Temporary Airman Certificate

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Figure 16-3-1A. Sample FAA Form 8060-4, Temporary Airman Certificate

16-3-1-11    SECURITY DISQUALIFICATION. After the FAA receives the application, the TSA will automatically conduct a background security screening of the applicant prior to issuance of a remote pilot certificate. If the security screening is successful, the FAA will issue a permanent remote pilot certificate. If the security screening is not successful, the applicant will be disqualified and a temporary pilot certificate, if issued, will be revoked. Individuals who believe that they improperly failed a security threat assessment may appeal the decision to the TSA.

16-3-1-13    AERONAUTICAL KNOWLEDGE TESTS (INITIAL AND RECURRENT). It is important to have and retain the knowledge necessary to operate a small unmanned aircraft in the National Airspace System (NAS). This aeronautical knowledge can be obtained through self-study, taking an online training course, taking an in-person training course, or any combination thereof. The FAA has published the Remote Pilot—Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Airman Certification Standards (https://www.faa.gov/training_testing/testing/acs/) that provides the necessary reference material.

NOTE:  The below information regarding initial and recurrent knowledge tests applies to persons who do not hold a current part 61 Airman Certificate.

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A.    Initial Test. As described above, a person applying for a remote pilot certificate with an sUAS rating must pass the initial UAG knowledge test given by an FAA-approved KTC. The initial knowledge test will cover aeronautical knowledge areas listed below and referenced in 107.73:

1)    Applicable regulations relating to sUAS rating privileges, limitations, and flight operation;
2)    Airspace classification, operating requirements, and flight restrictions affecting small unmanned aircraft operation;
3)    Aviation weather sources and effects of weather on small unmanned aircraft performance;
4)    Small unmanned aircraft loading;
5)    Emergency procedures;
6)    Crew Resource Management (CRM);
7)    Radio communication procedures;
8)    Determining the performance of small unmanned aircraft;
9)    Physiological effects of drugs and alcohol;
10)  Aeronautical decisionmaking and judgment;
11)  Airport operations; and
12)  Maintenance and preflight inspection procedures.
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NOTE:  A part 61 Airman Certificate holder who meets the criteria in 61.56 within the previous 24 calendar-months may complete an initial online training course instead of taking the knowledge test.

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B.    Recurrent Test. After a person receives a remote pilot certificate with an sUAS rating, that person must retain and periodically update the required aeronautical knowledge to continue to operate a small unmanned aircraft in the NAS. To continue exercising the privileges of a remote pilot certificate, the certificate holder must pass a recurrent aeronautical knowledge test within 24 calendar-months after passing the initial UAG knowledge test. A part 61 pilot certificate holder who has completed a flight review within the previous 24 calendar-months may complete a recurrent online training course instead of taking the knowledge test at a KTC. Table 16-3-1A contains examples illustrating an individual’s possible certification and renewal cycles.

Table 16-3-1A.  Examples of Certification and Renewal Cycles

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If a person passes the initial knowledge test on September 10, 2016.

then

The recurrent knowledge test must be passed no later than September 30, 2018, which does not exceed 24 calendar-months.

If a person passes the initial knowledge test on September 10, 2016, but does not pass the recurrent knowledge test until October 5, 2018.

then

The person may not exercise the privileges of the remote pilot certificate between October 1, 2018, and October 5, 2018, when the test is passed. The next recurrent knowledge test must be passed no later than October 31, 2020, which does not exceed 24 calendar-months.

If a person passes the knowledge test on September 10, 2018, and elects to take the recurrent knowledge test early, on July 15, 2020, instead of waiting until September, 2020.

then

The next recurrent knowledge test must be passed no later than July 31, 2022, to continue exercising the privileges of the remote pilot certificate.

16-3-1-15    AERONAUTICAL KNOWLEDGE RECENCY ( 107.65). A person may not operate an sUAS unless that person has completed one of the following, within the previous 24 calendar-months:

    Passed an initial aeronautical knowledge test covering the areas of knowledge specified in  107.73(a) and 107.74(a); or

    Passed a recurrent aeronautical knowledge test covering the areas of knowledge specified in  107.73(b) and 107.74(b).

NOTE:  Test Providers: KTCs will administer initial and recurrent examinations provided by the FAA. In order to take an aeronautical knowledge test, an applicant will be required to schedule an appointment with the KTC and provide proper government-issued photo identification to the KTC on the day of the scheduled test. The location of the nearest KTC can be found at http://www.faa.gov/training_testing/testing/media/test_centers.pdf.

16-3-1-17    PREREQUISITES AND COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS.

A.    Prerequisites. This task requires knowledge of part 107 and FAA policies, and qualification as an ASI (Operations) or aviation safety technician (AST).

B.    Coordination. This task may require coordination with the Airman Records section of AFS-760.

16-3-1-19    REFERENCES, FORMS, AND JOB AIDS.

A.    References (current editions):

    Title 14 CFR Part 107.

    PTRS Procedures Manual (PPM).

    AC 107-2, Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS).

    Airman Certification Standards (ACS), https://www.faa.gov/training_testing/testing/acs/.

B.    Forms:

    FAA Form 8000-36, Program Tracking and Reporting System Data Sheet, or electronic PTRS.

    FAA Form 8710-13, Remote Pilot Certificate and/or Rating Application.

C.    Job Aids. None.

16-3-1-21 through 16-3-1-33 RESERVED.



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1 Reference to “part 61 Airman Certificate holders” specifically includes sport pilot, recreational pilot, private pilot, commercial pilot, and airline transport pilot certificates. It does not include a student pilot certificate.