A few weeks ago, the FAA made several updates that eased the burden on commercial drone operators:

  • The agency approved more than a thousand UAVs en masse.
  • They doubled the Blanket COA flying altitude to 400 feet.
  • And they began allowing new 333 Exemption holders to register aircraft online.

At the time, it seemed that most of the updates (with the exception of the new 400-foot altitude limit) benefited only new 333 Exemption holders. Those who had received authorization early on seemed to be stuck in bureaucratic limbo, tied to the terms of their Exemptions, which among other things, required commercial drone operators to register new UAVs via an original (not photocopied!) Form 8050-1 for Aircraft Registration.

But it seems the FAA is no more a fan of paperwork than the rest of us. In last week’s Federal Register Notice, the FAA advised that most 333 Exemption holders can now register new aircraft online, even if your 333 specifies otherwise.

You will still need to use Form 8050-1 if you meet the following conditions:

  • Your drone weighs more than 55 lbs
  • You intend to operate your drone outside of the United States
  • Your drone is owned by a trustee
  • The drone owner uses a voting trust to meet U.S. Citizenship requirements

This update removes one more barrier for entrepreneurs who are expanding their commercial drone operations and adding to their fleets, which is great news.

At Skyward, we’re committed to reducing commercial drone operations’ administrative burden. Our customizable General Operating Manual and Checklists streamline safe, efficient operations and help companies comply with regulatory requirements.

Skyward's Take Flight package helps commercial drone operators run safe, efficient business operations