Waivers, COA’s and Part 107

Before we get started, here are some important questions and facts concerning the FAA and current regulations in place concerning waivers, COA’s and Part 107  for the operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

If your answer is YES to ALL of the questions below…

  • Are you law enforcement, fire department, rescue organization or a government agency (federal entity; a state or U.S. territory government; or a political subdivision of a state government, U.S. territory government, or part of a Tribal Indian Government listed in the Robert T Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. § 5122))?
  • Are you planning to fly on behalf of your government agency; meaning the mission you plan to fly meets the definition of a governmental function?
  • Does your agency currently own (or plan to own) and operate its own equipment OR have an exclusive lease on it for more than 90 days?
  • Does your drone weigh less than 55 pounds?

..then you have two options depending on your mission. You may operate under Public Aircraft Operation Certificate of Authorization (COA) OR the FAA’s Small UAS Rule (14 CFR part 107).

    1. Certificates of Waiver or Authorization (COA)
    2. FAA’s Small UAS Rule (14 CFR part 107)
    3. Complete PART 107 – sUAS e-CFR

If you answered NO to ANY of the above questions…

  • Are you a recreational Flyer and/or Modeler Community-Based Organization? source

If your answer is YES…

Where Can I Fly? source

  • Can I become a Certificated Remote Pilot or Commercial Operator under Part 107?  source
  • How to apply to become a Drone Pilot?  source
  • Public Safety Agencies and Government Organizations source
    1. How to start a Drone Program source
    2. Emergency Authorizations & Operations source
    3. Public Safety and Law Enforcement Toolkit source
    4. Public Safety FAQs source


On Monday, December 28, 2020 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) submitted two final rules for publication in the Federal Register The new rules will require Remote Identification (Remote ID) of drones and allow operators of small drones to fly over people and at night under certain conditions. Both the Remote Identification of Unmanned Aircraft and Operation of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Over People rules will primarily take effect 60 days after publication, while implementation periods for specific elements within each rule vary. The publication of this regulatory package marks a major milestone for this industry.

The Remote ID rule (PDF) applies to all operators of drones that require FAA registration. There are three ways to comply with the operational requirements:

  1. Operate a standard Remote ID drone that broadcasts identification and location information of the drone and control station;
  2. Operate a drone with a Remote ID broadcast module (may be a separate device attached to the drone), which broadcasts identification, location, and take-off information; or
  3. Operate a drone without Remote ID but at specific FAA-recognized identification areas.

The Operations Over People and at Night rule (PDF) applies to Part 107 operators. The ability to fly over people and moving vehicles varies depending on the level of risk a small drone operation presents to people on the ground. Operations are permitted based on four categories, which can be found in the executive summary (PDF) accompanying the rule. Additionally, this rule allows for operations at night under certain conditions.

The final rule requires that small drone operators have their remote pilot certificate and identification in their physical possession when operating, ready to present to authorities if needed. This rule also expands the class of authorities who may request these forms from a remote pilot. The final rule replaces the requirement to complete a recurrent test every 24 calendar months with the requirement to complete updated recurrent training that includes operating at night in identified subject areas. 

Both rules will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. The Remote ID rule includes two compliance dates. Drone manufacturers will have 18 months to begin producing drones with Remote ID, with operators having an additional year to start using drones with Remote ID.

Please remember, this is only a brief summary of the regulations and laws concerning the operation of Unmanned Vehicle Systems.

Be sure to check out our Frequently Asked Questions and How to Order pages.

LE Drones is dedicated to helping public service entities create, launch and scale their drone programs. Our services encompass everything an organization needs to manage hardware and logistics, and to guide field personnel toward successful operations.

We strongly recommend that ALL customers and drone operators purchase liability insurance for their UAS’s.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have concerning the setup or operations of your UAS program.

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