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Cost to start commercially

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I was just reading through the proposed rules for commercial use on the FAA website, and came across a price sheet. It breaks down the cost of going through all certifications etc to be able to use commercially. I guess I was just surprised to see the price of some things...like the aeronautical knowledge test...$2,500? Every 2 years. ****. Spendy. Overall it totals $6,800 and I realize some of these things won't apply to everyone but it looks like your looking at a few grand to start making money legally. Still relatively cheap I suppose for starting a business when compared to other businesses out there. Iv attached the link.

http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/rulemaking/recently_published/media/2120-AJ60_NPRM_2-15-2015_joint_signature.pdf
 
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The whole certification thing is literally the government wanting it's cut and sticking it's hand into our pockets! Think about it, what's the difference with you flying over a building and filming it and making a little cash on the side compared to the joe-schmoe hobbyist who comes along right behind you and films the same building, but does it as a "hobby" then puts it on YouTube for all to see... Tell me how the guy making money put anyone in harms way anymore than the guy doing it as a hobby, in fact the hobby guy probably has less experience and is more likely to crash the thing into the building over the Proffesional who is making money, but the government says if the guy making money isn't cerified then he's breaking the law...! Where's the sense in that??? It's ridiculius!!!
 
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I was just reading through the proposed rules for commercial use on the FAA website, and came across a price sheet. It breaks down the cost of going through all certifications etc to be able to use commercially. I guess I was just surprised to see the price of some things...like the aeronautical knowledge test...$2,500? Every 2 years. ****. Spendy. Overall it totals $6,800 and I realize some of these things won't apply to everyone but it looks like your looking at a few grand to start making money legally. Still relatively cheap I suppose for starting a business when compared to other businesses out there. Iv attached the link.

http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/rulemaking/recently_published/media/2120-AJ60_NPRM_2-15-2015_joint_signature.pdf
195 pages. I don't mean to be a lazy-***--really I don't, but could you point us to where you read all this?
 
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I am currently enrolled in a UAV FAA Certification course. Though the price sheet sounds excessive I do not feel it is accurate.

Upon further reading I found a more realistic cost that my Instructor has also explained.

"...The estimated out-of-pocket cost for a small UAS operator to be FAA-certified is less than $300..."

"...The cost to administer an FAA approved small UAS knowledge test, including compliance fees, to a small UAS applicant or operator is $150..."

"...The FAA assigns the value of $28.00 as the estimate for the FAA’s cost to register an aircraft..."

"...The FAA uses a $50 fee to validate the identity of an applicant..."

"...With respect to the potential operator costs, the FAA assumes that each operator would be a new entrant into the commercial market and that each operator would have one small UAS. The following table shows the proposed rule’s estimated out-of-pocket startup and recurrent direct compliance costs for a new small UAS operator or owner.

Small UAS Operator Startup and Recurrent Costs (Current Dollars)
Cost Type of Cost Initial Recurrent Applicant/small UAS operator
Travel Expense $9
Knowledge Test Fees $150
Positive Identification of the Applicant Fee $50
Total applicant/small UAS operator $209 / $159 (Renewal)
Owner Small UAS Registration Fee $5
Total $214 / $164(Renewal)

* Details may not add to row or column totals due to rounding. The FAA does not believe that $214 per operator would be a significant negative economic impact to small entity operators because $214 is relatively inexpensive to be licensed for operation of a commercial vehicle..."


So it may not be as bad as we believe. We shall see.
 
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I am currently enrolled in a UAV FAA Certification course. Though the price sheet sounds excessive I do not feel it is accurate.

Upon further reading I found a more realistic cost that my Instructor has also explained.

"...The estimated out-of-pocket cost for a small UAS operator to be FAA-certified is less than $300..."

"...The cost to administer an FAA approved small UAS knowledge test, including compliance fees, to a small UAS applicant or operator is $150..."

"...The FAA assigns the value of $28.00 as the estimate for the FAA’s cost to register an aircraft..."

"...The FAA uses a $50 fee to validate the identity of an applicant..."

"...With respect to the potential operator costs, the FAA assumes that each operator would be a new entrant into the commercial market and that each operator would have one small UAS. The following table shows the proposed rule’s estimated out-of-pocket startup and recurrent direct compliance costs for a new small UAS operator or owner.

Small UAS Operator Startup and Recurrent Costs (Current Dollars)
Cost Type of Cost Initial Recurrent Applicant/small UAS operator
Travel Expense $9
Knowledge Test Fees $150
Positive Identification of the Applicant Fee $50
Total applicant/small UAS operator $209 / $159 (Renewal)
Owner Small UAS Registration Fee $5
Total $214 / $164(Renewal)

* Details may not add to row or column totals due to rounding. The FAA does not believe that $214 per operator would be a significant negative economic impact to small entity operators because $214 is relatively inexpensive to be licensed for operation of a commercial vehicle..."

So it may not be as bad as we believe. We shall see.
Well, obviously I am beyond happy about this prediction. This is huge. Now the million dollar question is WHEN??? :)
Also--can you tell us about your Certification course? Where / how much / what does it entail?
 
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That is a the big question.

I will be attending a Drone X Conference in May and the FAA will be there and I should hope they will provide us with a firm answer.

What I am afraid is that the FAA will drag its *** in moving forward and when it does it will be just organized chaos.
 
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I am currently enrolled in a UAV FAA Certification course. Though the price sheet sounds excessive I do not feel it is accurate.

Upon further reading I found a more realistic cost that my Instructor has also explained.

"...The estimated out-of-pocket cost for a small UAS operator to be FAA-certified is less than $300..."

"...The cost to administer an FAA approved small UAS knowledge test, including compliance fees, to a small UAS applicant or operator is $150..."

"...The FAA assigns the value of $28.00 as the estimate for the FAA’s cost to register an aircraft..."

"...The FAA uses a $50 fee to validate the identity of an applicant..."

"...With respect to the potential operator costs, the FAA assumes that each operator would be a new entrant into the commercial market and that each operator would have one small UAS. The following table shows the proposed rule’s estimated out-of-pocket startup and recurrent direct compliance costs for a new small UAS operator or owner.

Small UAS Operator Startup and Recurrent Costs (Current Dollars)
Cost Type of Cost Initial Recurrent Applicant/small UAS operator
Travel Expense $9
Knowledge Test Fees $150
Positive Identification of the Applicant Fee $50
Total applicant/small UAS operator $209 / $159 (Renewal)
Owner Small UAS Registration Fee $5
Total $214 / $164(Renewal)

* Details may not add to row or column totals due to rounding. The FAA does not believe that $214 per operator would be a significant negative economic impact to small entity operators because $214 is relatively inexpensive to be licensed for operation of a commercial vehicle..."


So it may not be as bad as we believe. We shall see.
Well that certainly sounds a lot better! I guess on one hand having high prices would eliminate some of the people that are less serious about flying commercially. And we could justify charging higher rates for jobs! I saw something my buddy put on Facebook today about how there have only been 400 some odd comments given back to the FAA about the regulations. I guess you can read what people are commenting to them that's what I was actually looking for when I stumbled across this
 
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The whole certification thing is literally the government wanting it's cut and sticking it's hand into our pockets! Think about it, what's the difference with you flying over a building and filming it and making a little cash on the side compared to the joe-schmoe hobbyist who comes along right behind you and films the same building, but does it as a "hobby" then puts it on YouTube for all to see... Tell me how the guy making money put anyone in harms way anymore than the guy doing it as a hobby, in fact the hobby guy probably has less experience and is more likely to crash the thing into the building over the Proffesional who is making money, but the government says if the guy making money isn't cerified then he's breaking the law...! Where's the sense in that??? It's ridiculius!!!

You answered your own question.... you can't use government and make sense in the same sentence.


Mark
 
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The whole certification thing is literally the government wanting it's cut and sticking it's hand into our pockets! Think about it, what's the difference with you flying over a building and filming it and making a little cash on the side compared to the joe-schmoe hobbyist who comes along right behind you and films the same building, but does it as a "hobby" then puts it on YouTube for all to see... Tell me how the guy making money put anyone in harms way anymore than the guy doing it as a hobby, in fact the hobby guy probably has less experience and is more likely to crash the thing into the building over the Proffesional who is making money, but the government says if the guy making money isn't cerified then he's breaking the law...! Where's the sense in that??? It's ridiculius!!!
The government sticks their hands in every business...why should a uav business be any different?
 

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Guys..... although your 'registration fees' may look cheap I'm guessing you will have to be 'certified' in order to get permission for aerial work.
Only certain National Qualified Entities will be allowed to take you through that certification process (licensed and regulated by the FAA) and they will be free to charge what they like.
In addition to this there will be mandatory liability insurance so factor in another $1,000 or so.
This is the way it works in the UK..... The CAA fees are very cheap (£113 per year for a sub 7kg UAV) but the certification process and insurance is not!
It costs us circa £2,500 to become fully certified and gain permission for aerial work (PFAW) with ongoing costs per year of approx £800-£1,000 ($1,250-$1,550) to stay certified. Currently there is a 41% drop out rate after the first year as people do not renew!
Just a heads up.
 
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Guys..... although your 'registration fees' may look cheap I'm guessing you will have to be 'certified' in order to get permission for aerial work.
Only certain National Qualified Entities will be allowed to take you through that certification process (licensed and regulated by the FAA) and they will be free to charge what they like.
In addition to this there will be mandatory liability insurance so factor in another $1,000 or so.
This is the way it works in the UK..... The CAA fees are very cheap (£113 per year for a sub 7kg UAV) but the certification process and insurance is not!
It costs us circa £2,500 to become fully certified and gain permission for aerial work (PFAW) with ongoing costs per year of approx £800-£1,000 ($1,250-$1,550) to stay certified. Currently there is a 41% drop out rate after the first year as people do not renew!
Just a heads up.

You know, it's sad. People that want to follow the law and do the right thing have to fight tooth and nail to accomplish their end goal. No wonder so many people will just do it on the down low and bypass the rules set forth by our interfering and meddling gov't.

No good deed goes unpunished.


Mark
 
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I have read the proposed rules entirely and also discussed with my local FAA Inspector. Yow will need to pass the Knowledge test to get an Airman Certificate with a Part 107 Operator's endorsement. You will also be required to get a clearance from the TSA. You will not be required to attend any form of classroom training. In fact, the proposed regulations as published on the Federal Register even tell you what 9 areas the test will cover. This is very similar to most other government written exams, and like the others will probably be available to review online. For instance, I already possess an Airman Certificate with an Airframe and Powerplant endorsement, and an FCC General Radiotelephone Operator's Certificate. Both of these licenses' exams are available online with all 500 questions and answers published. When you go for the test, (which costs $150) you will be given a random selection of 100 of those questions.

I don't know what it will cost to get the TSA clearance. I have that already through my employer. I can tell you that it is an annually updated clearance which requires your fingerprints.
 
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The government sticks their hands in every business...why should a uav business be any different?
Apples and oranges, if you read my post I easily show that in this case the government is making up rules that only apply if your making money, but otherwise your free to do as you please! It hurts the free enterprising citizen that is working hard to simply provide for his family doing something he is good at and does with proffesionalism and integrity!
Example: I also have a photography side business taking family photos, head shots, portraits, weddings, babies, etc...! It's my own run business that I manage and all. Except for paying taxes I don't worry about the government coming in and regulating me to the point of shutting me down. There are thousands of photographers that operate their business just as I do. It works! It's great! It's free enterprise and what's great about this country! I'm not against some kind of regulated system completely. I think it's smart to set apart the professionals and show proof of competency, but what the government is doing with the situation and program right now is just ridiculous! They are dragging their feet on the issue and in the meantime creating much headache for people relying on this business to survive!
I recently read an article where our "fearless leader" addressed the issue of the Phantom Landing on his front yard. Where he stated that the issue is great since you can pick up this "drone" from any RadioShack! Perfect example of our government being highly misinformed and making stuff up just to cause panic and regulate something that they know nothing about! All I'm saying is, inform yourself and don't believe everything that is said, just because it comes from the government! We have to stand up for ourselves and push back a little! Not be bullied! "By the people, for the people" right???
 
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I'd like to add my 2 cents worth here about the proposed rules. I'm an aircraft mechanic with over 30 years heavy jet experience for a major airline. Believe me, I know what it's like to deal with the FAA.

The FAA's job mandated by Congress is to write regulations for aircraft. These regulations have been in place for many years. But now, here comes something new. The FAA only had two choices. First choice is they could have made all drones be considered the same as any other aircraft, which would have required annual and 100 hour inspections, airworthiness certification, registration, logbooks, pilot's license and medical certificates, certified maintenance programs, etc. If they had gone this route, the costs to us would have been staggering. Second choice was to lump drones under the existing rules for model aircraft. These existing rules don't require any of the above processes, but restrict us to 400 feet LOS, daylight and NO commercial use. Way cheaper for us, but you can't make money under these rules. So in order to allow commercial use, they had to write completely new rules for UAV's. That's what 14CFR Part 107 is.
 
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I own a small cheap wakeboarding boat which i use with my mates, on the sea, and nobody cares what i do with it. There are no rules about who can/can't use small boats in the UK on the sea. But if I wanted to start teaching wakeboarding as a living or charging people for rides, I'm required to pass a ski boat drivers certification, which is days of training, and written and practical exams. This is so that if I'm involving members of the public who trust me with their safety, I have proper training.

If, for personal use, I want to join a wakeboarding club and use their nice lake and flat water, they generally require me to pass a version of the SBDA so that everyone in the club is of a certain skill level, and everyone is safe in the water together. The club is then insured by the British WaterSki and Wakeboarding Association, and incidents are covered.

Both of these things are a pain, but recently a child was killed at a wakeboard park in the UK, and many of the failures were down to poor training, or bad decisions by people who probably had no interest in 'red tape'. That changed everything, and the tests were re-invented and became more difficult. Authorities are much hotter on this kind of activity now.

Any of these 'dangerous' activities are likely to bring legislation when they start to hit the the news. But if the hobby can be properly regulated or self-regulated, the legislation tends to be less severe. In the UK, the RYA encourages people to get certification if they are going to use boats, jetskis and yachts, and insurers offer heavy discounts if you have qualifications. As a result the industry still flourishes and these activities don't tend to have a bad reputation. The sector which suffers the worst in all this is jetskis, as people tend to think of them as toys and loon about on them, often too near people, and often out of control. There are many deaths attributed to jetskis, and as a result most places around my way simply won't allow them to be used. Unfortunately they attract the wrong crowd.

If 'drones' are going to become acceptable, a regulatory body needs to take charge of their use, and start to bring in training and certifications - and then the public will begin to relax about them. That will involve owners sticking to the rules - and not flying them where it is not appropriate to do so. And of course it means that commercial operators, who by definition deal with the general public, are going to be regulated the most heavily. I don't have a problem with it, personally. I wouldn't want an unqualified gas engineer fixing my boiler, even if he had all the tools and 'had done it before'. And I wouldn't want an unqualified drone pilot flying his drone on my wedding day, because I just don't know whether he's a liability or not.
 
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ds of photographers that operate their business just as I do. It works! It's great! It's free enterprise and what's great about this country! I'm not against some kind of regulated system completely. I think it's smart to set apart the profe
Apples and oranges, if you read my post I easily show that in this case the government is making up rules that only apply if your making money, but otherwise your free to do as you please! It hurts the free enterprising citizen that is working hard to simply provide for his family doing something he is good at and does with proffesionalism and integrity!
Example: I also have a photography side business taking family photos, head shots, portraits, weddings, babies, etc...! It's my own run business that I manage and all. Except for paying taxes I don't worry about the government coming in and regulating me to the point of shutting me down. There are thousands of photographers that operate their business just as I do. It works! It's great! It's free enterprise and what's great about this country! I'm not against some kind of regulated system completely. I think it's smart to set apart the professionals and show proof of competency, but what the government is doing with the situation and program right now is just ridiculous! They are dragging their feet on the issue and in the meantime creating much headache for people relying on this business to survive!
I recently read an article where our "fearless leader" addressed the issue of the Phantom Landing on his front yard. Where he stated that the issue is great since you can pick up this "drone" from any RadioShack! Perfect example of our government being highly misinformed and making stuff up just to cause panic and regulate something that they know nothing about! All I'm saying is, inform yourself and don't believe everything that is said, just because it comes from the government! We have to stand up for ourselves and push back a little! Not be bullied! "By the people, for the people" right???
I read your post and I even understood it. My statement still stands. You're just mad because you have to pay for operating costs to operate your uav/inspire in the nas as per the faa for commercial use. Operating costs are nothing new to a business. It's not apples and oranges. Yes you can go out and take your photos of your babies or whatever and just pay taxes on it and be fine, you don't need a business license because you're operating as a freelance technically, but now you're flying a machine, even though it's unmanned, you're operating with other aircrafts even though we are to stay below the 500ft limit of those aircrafts we are still in the air with them. I mean let me ask you this, why didn't you pursue this venture using the traditional helicopter? probably because the operating costs were very high, right? I mean, you need a pilots license, you need a commercial pilots license to make money, all the schooling so you can get said licenses, you need to buy the helicopter, and if you're whole thing is to get aerial video/photo than you need a camera pack as well and etc etc etc...I hope you can see here that the operating costs are starting to stack to a very substantial amount, well into six figures and beyond. Lets go to another business...I want to start a food truck, I need a food handlers permit, and a license to get a tax id so I can file my quarterly earnings, I need a truck with a kitchen or I need to build said kitchen in a used fedex truck (or whatever they do) I need a drivers license (if I don't already have one) I need insurance so if while I'm driving around I hit someone or someone hits me I'm not screwing myself out of those quarterly earnings. I think you're confused because for the last 30-40 years rc airplanes has been around, it's been a hobby but now that its so trendy these days to start a uav business, yes operating costs are going to come into play because yes the government wants their cut of your business, just like any other business, even down to your marriage (that's why you need a marriage license.) I'll even use the example that I use the most, roofers, sure you can call up some guy lets call him Bob, BOBS ROOFING, he isn't licensed or insured or even bonded. He just likes to roof because it's so much fun for him, and he does it on the cheap because he isn't licensed, bonded, or insured. Now Bob is working on your roof and he falls and takes a substantial injury that jepordizes his future in his roofing hobby (remember it's a hobby for him not a business) right in your front lawn...After some thinking Bob slaps you with a lawsuit (**** move, right?) becuase he knows he's screwed and since he was working on your roof when he fell he might as well screw you too. So now your homeowners insurance has to payout a few hundred thousand dollars becuase you wanted to save some money by going with the hobbyist vs a commercial enterprise that would've been licensed bonded and insured, therefore you wouldn't have this problem on your hands with the ******* that is Bob.

To add even more the only other reason people are upset is because on one hand uav's are fairly inexpensive these days, so they feel the financial gain is great...but you actually have to pay all these costs to basically (back to roofer bob) be licensed, insured, bonded, and you actually up your cost to your clients for that. As a freelance videographer who works out of my home, I can charge $500 for some projects...Now if I upgraded to a studio and took on another employee or partner, I up my cost so that same project is now $1000, I have lease for my studio afterall, but now I'm also more official, clients have a storefront they can visit to see their project, vs me inviting them to my home. So you see how you kinda roll the costs to your client here.

Of course you can operate freely as a hobbygrade user...and take a cash payment and keep it off the books, but what about that moment your filming a home for a real estate agent and you accidentalyl lose control and crash through the window.
 
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