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National Agricultural Aviation Association eNewsletter
Voice of the Aerial Application Industry
June 1, 2023
Report Illegal Drone Applications

Enforcement against an individual or persons violating these provisions can be taken by reporting violations to state pesticide enforcement officials or the FAA’s Flight Standards District Offices.

NAAA receives constant reports from commercial manned and unmanned aerial application businesses about drone application work that is being conducted outside of the law. NAAA has been told that unregistered drone activities, in addition to allegations that label directions, including required gallons of carrier per acre, active ingredient measurements per acre and boom length limits, are being violated. Professional commercial applicators that apply by air—either as part of a farming business or a separate aerial application business—must be licensed.

A small drone that weighs less than 55 pounds can be flown for work or business if the operator becomes an FAA-certified drone pilot under Federal Aviation Regulations, Part 107. Those requirements, including registering one’s drone, may be found here.

To operate a drone over 55 pounds, an operator must follow the requirements under 49 U.S.C. 44807, which can be found here.

An aerial application—whether manned or unmanned—conducted by a farmer or commercial applicator must also have an agricultural aviation operator certificate under 14 CFR Part 137. Those requirements may be found here.

In addition, an aerial applicator, whether manned or unmanned, making a commercial application must be licensed as a professional commercial applicator in the state(s) in which they are operating. A list of the state pesticide enforcement agencies that license commercial applicators may be found here. Most states are treating drone applications the same as manned aerial applications, which means drone operators must follow all label instructions in the aerial section of the label, including droplet size, application height and boom length.

Enforcement against an individual or persons violating these provisions can be taken by reporting violations to the state pesticide enforcement officials, found here, or the FAA’s Flight Standards District Offices, found here.

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This newsletter is intended for NAAA members only. NAAA requests that should any party desire to publish, distribute or quote any part of this newsletter that they first seek the permission of the Association. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA), its Board of Directors, staff or membership. Items in this newsletter are not the result of paid advertising and are only meant to highlight newsworthy developments. No endorsement by NAAA is intended or implied.
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NAAA Award Nomination Form
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Certified-Professional Aerial Applicator Safety Steward
(C-PAASS) Program

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2023 NAAA “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship
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Agricultural Aviation Mag.
NAAA/NAAREF Safety Videos
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Shooting-Response Checklist
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Ag Aviation 101 Presentation
NAAA Professional Operating Guidelines Booklet
Aerial Applicator’s Manual
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National Agricultural Aviation Association, 1440 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: 202-546-5722 | Fax: 202-546-5726 |

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