Here’s a short education lesson on drones. I’ve been doing this 3+ years now, longer than anyone around here. To operate a drone for Commercial operations, you must have an FAA Part 107 license or prior to that an FAA 333 exemption. Commercial meaning if you make one red penny or receive a hotdog as compensation , that’s considered commercial to the FAA. If you hire a non-licensed drone operator, the fine is 10 times the amount to person hiring than it is to the operator. Plus I have a $1 million dollar insurance coverage.

On top of FAA Part 107 rules, anything outside those rules, I have to apply for waiver or authorization from the FAA. To fly at night, I had to apply for a waiver. I’m the only person in the 4 county area that has this (it’s public record if you want to check).

If you look at the map below, there’s a 5 mile radius outside of the Hickory Regional Airport that’s considered Class D airspace, the dotted blue circle. To fly commercially within that, I have to apply for a authorization (currently pending from the FAA). When the airport tower closes at night, it converts to Class E airspace in which I have to an additional authorization for that.

So if you wondered why I haven’t shot any night photos of Union Square, Viewmont, etc that’s what I’m waiting on. I hope this was educational. Comments welcome.