After two delays, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is gearing up to launch its Remote ID training entirely online starting on April 6. The online program is designed to make it easier for Part 107-certified pilots to renew their status without needing to pay for in-person testing.
As confirmed by The Drone Girl and reported by DPReview, the FAA’s online remote training program will be launched on April 6, after being delayed from a March 1 and again delayed from March 16. The online training program was initially announced last year when the FAA published its finalized drone rules.
Up until April 5, 2021, pilots with a Part 107 Remote Pilot Certification had to take an in-person test every two years to keep certifications current. The Part 107 Remote Pilot Certification is required for any drone pilot to fly for commercial purposes. That test had to be taken at one of around 700 FAA-approved knowledge testing centers around the country and pilots had to score at least a 70% in order to pass.
Now, pilots can complete the renewal test from home and it will not cost the approximately $150 the in-person test did. Instead, it will be free and those who complete the course will receive a digital completion certificate which can be stored on a mobile device or printed and kept in a drone bag (having it on hand when flying is critical).
It should be noted that in addition to being available online, there will be a few new things included on the exam that will be asked. For example, as noted in December, there are new rules for flying at night.
It should be noted that if your license is set to lapse prior to April 6, you don’t need to worry if you want to take the test entirely online. Though you could schedule an in-person test, Drone Girl points out that the Part 107 certification doesn’t expire, it lapses. That is to say, you can take the test again at any point and it would renew and make current your standing. So as long as you don’t fly commercially between now and when you renew your certificate, you should be good. If there is a way to avoid paying the in-person fee, it is highly recommended that you do so with the new online method becoming available shortly.
The new version of the FAA test will be available online and for free here starting on April 6, 2021.