Let’s Fly Wisely : Does Flying a DJI Mavic Mini Require a Remote Flyer Certification?

Last May 2020, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) published a ruling stating that all operators of drones flown for commercial purposes have to be certified. This ruling applies even if the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) weighs less than 0.55 pounds. Since a review of DJI Mavic Mini at letsflywisely.com/dji-mavic-mini-review/ shows that this drone weighs less than 0.55, how will the new FAA ruling apply?

Understanding the FAA’s Registration Requirement for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

First off, there should be clear understanding that while the FAA exempts drones weighing less than 0.55 from the Recreational Flyer Registration requirement, the exemption is with regard to the UAV and the limitations of their use. That is one reason why the DJI Mavic Mini became quite popular, as many American consumers considered the small compact drone as a perfect birthday or Christmas gift for their kids.

Still, recreational drone flying has limitations and restrictions on where and how UAVs can be used for fun or for entertainment. Flying a DJI Mavic Mini is definitely for recreational purposes, because aside from weighing less than 0.55 pounds, it’s a flycam quadcopter that can stay in flight for about 30 minutes on a fully charged battery.

However, if somebody deems this small compact UAV as an excellent flight equipment in performing a commercial purpose within a 30-minute duration, the flight operator must be able to present an FAA Remote Flyer Certification. Actually, FAA’s new rule applies whether for recreational or commercial purposes, and regardless of the weight of the drone.

Understanding the FAA’s Remote Pilot Certificate as New Requirement for Drone Operator

In order to be certified, a drone owner must first pass the FAA’s Aeronautical Knowledge and Safety Test. The test aims to make certain that drone flyers are fully knowledgeable of the safety measures that must be observed when sending out drones in the airspace.

Another thing, not everyone is eligible to take the Aeronautical Knowledge and Safety Test… The FAA requires a test taker to be at least 16 years of age and must have passed the pre-examination known as the Aeronautical Knowledge Exam. Moreover, eligibility also includes being able to speak, write and comprehend English, as well being physically and metally fit to fly a drone safely.