The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is now requiring recreational drone operators to pass an examination. Known as The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) test, it’s designed to ensure that drone operators understand how to safely, as well as legally, fly drones.
Drones have become increasingly popular in recent years. Research shows that there are now over 1.7 million drones registered for use in the United States. Of those registered drones, about a half-million are used for commercial operations, whereas over 1.2 million are used for recreational purposes. Commercial applications for drones include photography, agriculture and landscape surveying. Thousands of businesses use drones for commercial applications such as these. As previously mentioned, though, most drones are used for recreational purposes and not commercial operations.
Up until now, drone operators haven’t been required to pass a test if they use their drones for recreational purposes. The FAA has since changed its rules, however, to require recreational drone operators to pass the TRUST test. According to the FAA, recreational drone operators or “flyers” are the people who fly drones for fun or enjoyment. All recreational drone operators must pass the TRUST test before they can legally fly drones.
“All recreational flyers must pass an aeronautical knowledge and safety test and provide proof of test passage (the TRUST completion certificate) to the FAA or law enforcement upon request,” wrote the FAA on its testing portal.
The TRUST test consists of two parts. The first part is information about drones. It essentially tells recreational drone operators what they need to know about flying drones. The second part of the TRUST test is a set of multiple choice questions and answers.
While the TRUST test may sound difficult, it’s relatively easy for drone operators to complete. There’s no way to actually fail the TRUST test. If a drone operator selects an incorrect answer to a given question, a box will appear explaining why that answer is wrong. The drone operator can then change his or her answer to the correct choice. After successfully completing the TRUST test, drone operators will receive a certification that allows them to fly drones in the United States — assuming they do so for recreational purposes.
Flying drones for commercial operations, on the other hand, requires a bit more work. Commercial certification is achieved through the Remote Pilot Certificate. It’s a longer and more extensive test than that of the TRUST trust.