What to Consider if You’re Using Drones for Aerial Application

09/11/2023 Written by: Gina Ekstam

Do you own an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) / drone?

Do you want to insure your drone?

Until about a year ago, these were the only questions an insurance agent needed to ask regarding the use of drones for agribusiness operations. But today, there is one more VERY important question: What are you doing with your drone?  

Many agriculture policies adapted quickly to provide coverage for the drone itself and the liability created by operating the drone. But with the expanded use of drones for aerial application, the insurance companies have not responded as quickly and maybe never will. We are lucky to have access to Casey DeLanghe and the AssuredPartners aviation team to help our clients navigate their way through all aviation exposures.  

When considering the use of drones for aerial applications, there are several factors to weigh. Especially for individuals or organizations that may not be familiar with this sector of the aviation industry, we encourage everyone to first look at the regulatory requirements to see if it even makes sense to proceed. For starters, three licenses and certifications are needed before you can even begin to apply products with a drone:

  1. Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA, Part 107 certificate.
  2. Agricultural Aircraft Operator certificate from the FAA, Part 137 certificate.
  3. Chemical license from the state(s) you are operating in.

UAS weighing more than 55 pounds also require an FAA Section 44807 weight exemption, and the pilot in command of the 55-pound-plus drone must hold at least an FAA second-class medical certificate.

To read more about the requirements for aerial application with a drone, read the entire article written by Casey and published in the Summer 2023 edition of Agricultural Aviation.

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