By Janell Pederson, Licensing Specialist, North Dakota Aeronautics Commission
This spring will be the first opportunity for operators to apply for an aerial applicator license specifically for unmanned aircraft. North Dakota Administrative Law 6-02-02 has been updated and now includes requirements and safety standards for unmanned aircraft operators to provide aerial application in North Dakota.
All aerial applicators, both manned and unmanned, are required to meet safety standard criteria and receive licensure from our office. The license fee for either of the aerial applicator licenses will remain at $200. A manned operator that also meets the criteria of the unmanned operator license will need to complete a separate application to be granted that license. However, an additional fee will not be assessed.
Operators of all unmanned aircraft used for aerial application must hold FAA Part 137 (Agriculture Operator Certification) and hold a current air/ground core pesticide certification from North Dakota State University (NDSU). All unmanned pilots must also hold an FAA remote pilot certificate, attend annual safety training, and have attended an approved training program or have received at least ten hours of direct ground-supervised solo flights at operations loads while conducting aerial application. All unmanned aircraft used for aerial application must also be listed on the license, have a maximum operating weight of five-hundred pounds or less, and have paid an aircraft registration fee with our office.
It is also the operator’s responsibility to ensure that any chemicals being disbursed from the aircraft are legal and meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and North Dakota Department of Agriculture guidelines.
If you have any specific questions on this new license, visit the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission (NDAC) website at aero.nd.gov or give us a call at (701) 328-9560.