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
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.
· 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
61.56 (or meets other criteria in §
the previous 24 calendar-months is only required to successfully complete an online training course, ALC-451, Part
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS), available at
https://www.FAASafety.gov. (Refer to part
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
16-3-1-7 APPLICATION PROCEDURE. This paragraph provides guidance on how a
person can apply for a remote pilot certificate.
A. Applicants Without a Part
61 Certificate. A person who does not hold a part
61 pilot certificate, a
part 61 Airman
who does not have a current flight review (or other criteria) in accordance with §
61.56, or a part
Certificate holder who voluntarily elects to use this process must:
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
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
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:
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
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.
B. Applicants with a Part
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 §
the previous 24 calendar-months may elect to apply using the following process:
1) Complete the online course (Part
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS), ALC-451), located within the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) Web site
and receive a completion certificate.
2) Complete the Remote Pilot Certificate and/or Rating Application (FAA Form
a) Option 1 (Online Application). In almost all cases, the application should
be completed online using the electronic FAA IACRA system
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.
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
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)
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
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 PilotSmall
Unmanned Aircraft Systems Airman Certification Standards
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.
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 §
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.
NOTE: A part
Certificate holder who meets the criteria in §
the previous 24 calendar-months may complete an initial online training course instead of taking the knowledge test.
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
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
If a person passes the initial knowledge test on September 10, 2016, but
does not pass the recurrent knowledge test until October 5, 2018.
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.
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 (§
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
· Passed a recurrent
aeronautical knowledge test covering the areas of knowledge specified in
§§ 107.73(b) and
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
16-3-1-17 PREREQUISITES AND COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS.
A. Prerequisites. This task requires knowledge of part
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
· PTRS Procedures Manual (PPM).
107-2, Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS).
· Airman Certification Standards (ACS),
· 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.