New FAA Requirements for SAE Aero Design Teams

2/16/2022 10:34:28 AM ET   SAE Aero Design Series

Revised on 2/23

SAE wants to remind all teams that they must register their aircraft with the Federal Aviation Association under the current FAA requirements for UAS registration, the rules are somewhat different than they have been in the past.

If the aircraft weighs more than 9 oz. and ready to fly, the aircraft must have a current FAA UAS recreational class registration. Ergo, all types of Aero Design aircraft must be registered.

  • If you have a current FAA UAS registration (they are good for three years), you can use your existing registration number.

  • If you do not have a current registration, teams can register at the link below. Aero Design teams must choose the Recreation model aircraft type of registration (per FAA guidance given us for educational UAS aircraft), not the Part 107 registration.

This new registration process is designed for requirements that will not be in full force for another year or two and is confusing. The AMA has published a guideline to filling out this form that has been approved by the FAA. Note that remote ID is not required at this time.

If you follow this guide exactly, you should be able to complete registration easily.

Even if you already have a registration number, there is a new requirement this year for all pilots.

Your pilot also needs to take the open book test for "The Recreational UAS Safety Test" (TRUST) here:

When the pilot passes this test, it proves to the FAA that the UAV pilot has a basic understanding of the rules that must be followed in US airspace.

After completion, the pilot must print and keep a copy of the passing certificate. Your pilot must have the certificate with him or her at all times during the event. If you are using an Aero Design volunteer pilot, they will already have this document with them.

After obtaining your FAA registration number, please apply it to your aircraft externally as required.

While Aero Design rules do not mention FAA registration, it is each team's responsibility to comply with all applicable US laws and regulations when participating in Aero Design in the US. Also, the FAA has expressed interest in the Aero Design event and may very well attend to observe.

Thank you for your cooperation with this requirement.