Welcome, Commercial Drone Pilots!
Join our growing community today!
Sign up

FAA definition of "Commercial"

KRProton

New Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Age
56
Okay, I've searched all over the place for it, but cannot find the FAA's definition (or anybody's definition) of the term "Commercial" regarding the Remote Pilot Certificate to fly under Part 107. There are links all over the place how to comply with Part 107, requirements, prep schools, etc., but no where can I find where it is specified/defined exactly what is the definition of "Commercial." Any links would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Tim
 

shooter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
114
Reaction score
57
Age
69
Location
Northern New Mexico, USA
Website
www.lanl.gov
https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/1.1

Commercial operator means a person who, for compensation or hire, engages in the carriage by aircraft in air commerce of persons or property, other than as an air carrier or foreign air carrier or under the authority of Part 375 of this title. Where it is doubtful that an operation is for “compensation or hire”, the test applied is whether the carriage by air is merely incidental to the person's other business or is, in itself, a major enterprise for profit.
 

KRProton

New Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Age
56
Thank you shooter.

What I was looking for was something directly from the FAA. I believe what you have posted above is probably from the FAA, I've found the language/definitions/clarification I was looking for directly from the FAA in a PDF in the link here (definitions of "flying for recreation" and not flying for recreation begin on page 9):

https://www.faa.gov/uas/media/model_aircraft_spec_rule.pdf

Tim
 

BigAl07

Administrator
Staff member
DSAR Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2018
Messages
2,154
Reaction score
1,551
Age
49
Location
Western North Carolina
My understanding is that any drone flights which aren't recreational are Part 107 flights.

You have 3 and only 3 possibilities and they do not overlap.

A) Public Use/Govt
B) Hobby/Recreational (Part 101/336)
C) If you do not fit into A or B you default to Commercial Operations (Part 107)

Every aviation operation is, by default, A Civil Operation (Part 107). If you don't fit entirely into A or B then you are a Commercial Op even if you have no training/certification as Part 107.
 

Kristina Fowler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2018
Messages
102
Reaction score
45
Age
68
In some of the old Section 333 language, the definition for "commercial" sighted any activity that constituted a "furtherance" of a business or entity. Keyword: furtherance.

"Commercial Operation means that the pilot of an aircraft or drone is flying for compensation (including barter) or hire or simply in furtherance of a business. "In furtherance of business" can include flying for personal use but posting to a commercial business website or using personal flight videos or stills for marketing of a commercial business."

See: Section 333 definition of Commercial (Source not official FAA)
 
  • Like
Reactions: KRProton

R.Perry

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2018
Messages
1,097
Reaction score
748
Age
71
Location
Coulterville, CA
  1. 1.
    concerned with or engaged in commerce.
    "a commercial agreement"
    synonyms:trade, trading, business, private enterprise, mercantile, sales
    "a vessel built for commercial purposes"


  2. 2.
    making or intended to make a profit.
    "commercial products"
    synonyms:profit-oriented, money-oriented, materialistic, mercenary
    "a commercial society"

Doesn't get much clearer than that, I believe the FAA assumes a pilot knows what the definition of commercial.
 

BigAl07

Administrator
Staff member
DSAR Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2018
Messages
2,154
Reaction score
1,551
Age
49
Location
Western North Carolina
This will probably cause as much confusion as it does clarity but here is something that I wrote a good while back for another forum that directly relates to the topic at hand. Keep in mind that I'm using quotes directly from an sUAS liaison with the FAA.

***Start of Quote***

CIVIL vs Hobbyist (Part 107 vs Part 101)


The problem stems from our own misunderstanding of the regulations and how they were intended. Part 107 does not mean specifically "Commercial Operations" even though everyone (even the FAA) associates Part 107 with Commercial Use. It's even noted as the "Commercial UAS Rules" by the FAA. Commercial Operations are but one portion of what Part 107 encompasses.

Part 107 technically "allows" for "CIVIL" UAS operations. Part of that "civil" operation can certainly be commercial operations but doesn't exclude other flights that are not "Commercial". This is why Search & Rescue, Crop Inspections, Training & Education and many other flights require Part 107 even though they may not “directly” involve the exchange of $$ or furtherence of a business.

Therefore, if you are not in compliance with Part 101 and you're not on an Exemption or Public Use COA, you are operating as a civil UAS and Part 107 applies.

Here is a direct quote from a friend of mine with the FAA:

"Think of it this way: Everyone is a civil UAS operator, subject to Part 107 (Public Use excluded). Now, Congress mandated that certain operators be left alone (not subject to Part 107) if they are operating as a hobbyist and Congress codified law to describe what a hobbyist operation must adhere to. The FAA took that law and regurgitated it into Part 101. So, if you're going to claim that you are NOT flying under Part 107, you must follow all of Part 101, or else you revert back to Part 107 regulations."

Therefore, if you are not in 100% compliance with Part 101 and you're not on an Exemption or Public Use COA, you are operating as a Civil UAS and Part 107 applies. Part 107 CIVIL Operations is the Default and Part 101 (Hobby) is a narrow exclusion to Part 107. If any portion of your flight/operation falls outside of Hobby/Part 101 then you automatically fall under Part 107 regulations. You’re either INSIDE the hobby/Part 101 box completely or you’re outside hobby/Part 101 which means operating as a Part 107 Operation and must follow those rules. A single flight is either completely Hobby or it is 100% Civil/Part 107. We can’t mix & match the regulations within a single flight. The FAA has left no grey area in this matter and closed all the Loop Holes many moons ago.

***End of Quote***
 
  • Like
Reactions: R Martin

Aerial505

Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Age
59
Location
New Mexico
Website
www.aerial505.com
To provide guidance, the following are examples of flights that could be
conducted as hobby or recreation flights and other types of flights that would not be
hobby or recreation.
Hobby or Recreation Not Hobby or Recreation Flying a model aircraft at the local model aircraft club.
Receiving money for demonstrating aerobatics with a model aircraft.
Taking photographs with a model aircraft for personal use.
A realtor using a model aircraft to photograph a property that he is trying to sell and using the photos in the property’s real estate listing.

A person photographing a property or event and selling the photos to someone else.

Using a model aircraft to move a box from point to point without any kind of compensation.

Delivering packages to people for a fee.6
Viewing a field to determine whether crops need water when they are grown for personal enjoyment.
Determining whether crops need to be watered that are grown as part of commercial farming operation.

Operations that meet the section 336 definition of “model aircraft” must also meet
the five additional criteria for model aircraft established in section 336(a) to be exempt
from future rulemaking regarding model aircraft. These criteria, with the exception of the
hobby and recreation standard that was previously addressed, are explained below.
Section 336(a)(2) requires model aircraft to be operated within a community
based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community
based organization. Congress explained that it intended “nationwide community-based
organization” to mean, in part, a “membership based association that represents the 6 If an individual offers free shipping in association with a purchase or other offer, FAA would construe the shipping to be in furtherance of a business purpose, and thus, the operation would not fall within the statutory requirement of recreation or hobby purpose.
 

LUIS MARTINEZ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2017
Messages
1,041
Reaction score
849
Age
66
Location
CASA GRANDE, AZ
Website
www.martinezaerial.com
To provide guidance, the following are examples of flights that could be
conducted as hobby or recreation flights and other types of flights that would not be
hobby or recreation.
Hobby or Recreation Not Hobby or Recreation Flying a model aircraft at the local model aircraft club.
Receiving money for demonstrating aerobatics with a model aircraft.
Taking photographs with a model aircraft for personal use.
A realtor using a model aircraft to photograph a property that he is trying to sell and using the photos in the property’s real estate listing.

A person photographing a property or event and selling the photos to someone else.

Using a model aircraft to move a box from point to point without any kind of compensation.

Delivering packages to people for a fee.6
Viewing a field to determine whether crops need water when they are grown for personal enjoyment.
Determining whether crops need to be watered that are grown as part of commercial farming operation.

Operations that meet the section 336 definition of “model aircraft” must also meet
the five additional criteria for model aircraft established in section 336(a) to be exempt
from future rulemaking regarding model aircraft. These criteria, with the exception of the
hobby and recreation standard that was previously addressed, are explained below.
Section 336(a)(2) requires model aircraft to be operated within a community
based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community
based organization. Congress explained that it intended “nationwide community-based
organization” to mean, in part, a “membership based association that represents the 6 If an individual offers free shipping in association with a purchase or other offer, FAA would construe the shipping to be in furtherance of a business purpose, and thus, the operation would not fall within the statutory requirement of recreation or hobby purpose.
"Receiving money for demonstrating aerobatics with a model aircraft. "
A realtor using a model aircraft to photograph a property that he is trying to sell and using the photos in the property’s real estate listing.
A person photographing a property or event and selling the photos to someone else."

I don't think so. Those are commercial uses, unless I misunderstood your posting.
 
Last edited:

Aerial505

Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Age
59
Location
New Mexico
Website
www.aerial505.com
"Receiving money for demonstrating aerobatics with a model aircraft. "
A realtor using a model aircraft to photograph a property that he is trying to sell and using the photos in the property’s real estate listing.
A person photographing a property or event and selling the photos to someone else."

I don't think so. Those are commercial uses, unless I misunderstood your posting.
That post was from Hobbyist, I also added a link from the FAA, getting started page.
 

BigAl07

Administrator
Staff member
DSAR Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2018
Messages
2,154
Reaction score
1,551
Age
49
Location
Western North Carolina
To provide guidance, the following are examples of flights that could be
conducted as hobby or recreation flights and other types of flights that would not be
hobby or recreation.
Hobby or Recreation Not Hobby or Recreation Flying a model aircraft at the local model aircraft club.
Receiving money for demonstrating aerobatics with a model aircraft.
Taking photographs with a model aircraft for personal use.
A realtor using a model aircraft to photograph a property that he is trying to sell and using the photos in the property’s real estate listing.

A person photographing a property or event and selling the photos to someone else.

Using a model aircraft to move a box from point to point without any kind of compensation.

Delivering packages to people for a fee.6
Viewing a field to determine whether crops need water when they are grown for personal enjoyment.
Determining whether crops need to be watered that are grown as part of commercial farming operation.
I think there is some information or formatting missing in your post. The post lists hobby and commercial operations in the same paragraph. I'd be willing to bet that some type of "formatting" didn't copy/paste over from the original source.
 

V_Morales

New Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2019
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Age
30
Thank you shooter.

What I was looking for was something directly from the FAA. I believe what you have posted above is probably from the FAA, I've found the language/definitions/clarification I was looking for directly from the FAA in a PDF in the link here (definitions of "flying for recreation" and not flying for recreation begin on page 9):

https://www.faa.gov/uas/media/model_aircraft_spec_rule.pdf

Tim
That link's broken - the FAA has dropped the file. Here you go: Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft
 

Avocet

Well-Known Member
DSAR Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
120
Reaction score
46
Age
62
Location
Maine
Website
www.kestrelsolutionsuav.com
While we're at it, and in case I missed it, I've approached Not-For-Profit orgs. with the hopes of drumming up some biz. Any takers on the NFPs?
 

larrybags

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Age
30
Hello Everyone, I apologize for digging up an old post, but I have a question that has come up in relation to the hobby pilot vs. needing a 107 cert. While trying to find an answer I came across this thread and the educated people in here I figured I could get a definitive answer. For the record, I am a 107 certified pilot and I am not asking in regards to myself.

If someone at the time of flight was flying for hobby purposes later on is asked if a photo they shot could be used for commercial purposes do they require a 107 to use the media?
 
  • Like
Reactions: BigAl07

New Threads

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
2,589
Messages
24,745
Members
3,846
Latest member
vsasolutions