The FAA requires that for any commercial use of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), a Part 107 certification or a FAA 333 exemption is required to operate.
How long does it take to get a Part 107 Certification? Anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, plus a lot of time studying and researching all of the rules and regulations surrounding drone operation. The person applying also needs to pass FAA regulated test at an approved FAA testing facility, and pass a TSA background check.
Here in Kona on the Big Island, commercial operators especially need to understand the different classes of airspace and the rules that are applicable. If a remote pilot wants to operate within 5 miles of an airport, he or she must get control tower clearance and follow a strict flight plan. Here is a brief summary of Part 107.
An FAA 333 Exemption existed before Part 107. It takes up to 120 days to get one. Applicants for a 333 will be granted an exemption on a case-by-case basis only. The difference between Part 107 and 333 are the limitations and restrictions on the UAV flight. There are a few new rules and or changes to the Part 107.