The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a request for information (RFI) last week asking unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drone) stakeholders for input regarding the creation of a new aeronautical knowledge test for recreational drone operators. The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (the Act) requires new conditions to operate recreational small UAS; however, right now, many drones can be flown with minimal (or no) training or knowledge of aviation rules or safety practices. However, the FAA views the Act as a new opportunity to educate recreational operators on safety and to bring new flyers up-to-speed on the aviation safety culture.

The Act requires that recreational drone operators pass an aeronautical knowledge and safety test that demonstrates the operator’s understanding of aeronautical safety knowledge and rules for operating UAS. However, the test content will be developed by the FAA in conjunction with stakeholders pursuant to this RFI.

Specifically, the RFI is looking for entities to become testing designees to administer the training and the testing to a wide audience, and to develop a standard electronic record that will be issued to the operator upon completion of the test. This documentation could be requested from the operator by the FAA or local law enforcement. Stay tuned.