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Hello! I’m Paul and I’ve been a commercial pilot for nearly 20 years. I got into drone flying about 5 years ago for recreational videos. Recently, I started flying drones for a real estate side hustle and need to get closer to airports.

Do I need a 107 license to unlock my drone, or can I submit to unlock with my pilots license. 

I fly a DJI Mavic Air and a Mavic Air2. I also have a GOPRO Karma. 

thank you!


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I think your conflating a couple of issues:

  1. do you need a Part107 if you have a Part61 commercial?   Yes, you do.
  2. do you need a Part107 to unlock your drone?  The need to “unlock” the drone is a DJI requirement, not an FAA requirement. 

It’s DJI’s lame implementation of geofencing and their NFZ policy.  Fortunately, or unfortunately depending how you look at it, it doesn’t work very well.  I can arm my MavicPro2 and Inspire2 at my hanger.  There are other places where the damn thing thinks it’s in restricted airspace, and it isn’t, so it won’t Arm.   

Many of the decisions pilots make are based on common sense; the same is true for drones.  If your a quarter mile from the approach to 16R at Van Nays then get a LAANC clearance but if your a quarter of a mile away on the downwind of Santa Paula which has about five planes a day, use common sense and be safe.  

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Hi @Mustang Pilot,

Welcome to the UAV Coach Community Forum! 

Regarding your first question, you will need a Part 107 certification as a Part 61 pilot. However the process of obtaining it will be different than what most people go through. You don’t need to go through a training course or take the Part 107 exam.

Manned aircraft pilots need to complete a (free) online training course called “Part 107 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) ALC-451” available on the FAA FAASTeam website. More information on that process and steps over here.

After you successfully complete that course, you then complete FAA Form 8710-13 (FAA Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for a remote pilot certificate), validate your applicant identity, and make an in-person appointment with your local FSDO, an FAA-designated pilot examiner (DPE), an airman certification representative (ACR), or an FAA-certificated flight instructor (CFI) to sign your form.

Hope this helps! 

 - Chase 

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