Clarifying Recreational sUAS Requirements (Section 336)

February 12, 2018

We have received numerous inquiries from our members regarding the FAA’s posted rules for recreational sUAS operations, specifically the point that operators must “Follow community-based safety guidelines and fly within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization.” This requirement is stated in the Special Rule for Model Aircraft. More importantly, per the FAA, the only alternative to Part 107 Operations is to “Fly under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (Section 336),” which also contains the community requirement mentioned above.

For the last few years, FAA guidelines for recreational operations have included some form of this requirement. However, the FAA recently updated its online material with what appears to be further emphasis on this provision. On February 1, 2018, some notable changes were made to the following pages:

This may signal that the FAA is preparing to enforce this long-standing requirement, or that site content is just catching up. We are in contact with the FAA to fully clarify current and potential upcoming requirements as requested by our pilots and members.

In the meantime, we will continue to educate ourselves and our community through continuously evolving course material, updated examinations, and safe training missions. Regardless of any specific requirements, we will always strive to ensure that our focus on training, member-to-member feedback, and community adherence to our Standards of Conduct align with and promote the desired outcomes of the FAA, public safety personnel, and the unmanned systems community.

We will keep you updated as further details are received and verified.

In the meantime, please complete the updated Safe Operations Course on the DroneUp mobile app. Course material and test questions have been updated to include lessons learned from the weekend weather recon operation.

If you have any questions or information, please email our training team at [email protected]