Flight Plan

Operating a small drone for commercial purposes will soon require a licence.

A course to answer that need for remote pilots has already been planned out at Kansas State Polytechnic in Salina.

“If you buy one (drone) online or at a big box store and fly it as a hobbiest the answer is ‘no’ you don’t need a licence,” said Kurt Carraway, Executive Director UAS Program at K-State Polytechnic.

“As soon as you start to do something that involves a commercial benefit then the answer is yes.”

Carraway tells KSAL News that the FAA’s small UAS rule was forged in January of 2015 and after public comment and revisions will take full effect on August 29, 2016.

The new rule also eliminates the need for operators to have a manned pilot rating.

“Now you can go to an FAA test site such as the one we have on campus at Kansas State Polytechnic and take a written exam, and that becomes your remote pilot and command license or certificate,” Carraway said.

K-State Polytechnic’s 5-day course is designed to prepare professionals for the written FAA exam.

Students will also spend time flying with a team of UAS Flight Instructors to learn safe operating procedures and best practices. The class will meet August 29th through September 2nd at the K-State Polytechnic campus.