Difference between a drone operator and a drone pilot

Drones’ operations basis What’s the difference between a drone operator and a drone pilot

In the case of the open category, there are several differences between the drone operator and the drone pilot.

drone operator is a natural person or an organization who owns or rents one or more registered drones with the National Aviation Authority in its residence country or business headquarter. 

The drone operator is responsible for the drones and what is done with them; he must have the correct insurance, even if another person pilots the drone. Also, the operator needs to register with their National Aviation Authority. In the case of drones in the open category, only the operator must register.

The registered operator receives a number that identifies him, the Registration ID. The ID must be fixed in every drone that the operator has, and it’s the same for each one. This number must be visible on the drone.

drone pilot is a person flying the drone. This person may not own the drone nor rent it. To get a pilot license, it is necessary to take an online course offered by the relevant National Aviation Authority and pass the exam at the end of this course. Once the exam is given, the student will receive a valid 5-years remote pilot competency certificate.

In the case of specific responsibilities such as insurance, registration, and placement of the registration ID, the pilot has nothing to do except check that everything is correct to avoid significant problems flying the drone.

Drone pilot

It is essential to highlight that the drone pilot and the drone operator can be the same person and that if someone buys a drone to fly it in his leisure time, it is both the drone operator and the remote pilot.

If someone buys a drone to give away as a gift, the person who will receive the present and then fly the drone will be the drone operator and the remote pilot.

ALTER TECHNOLOGY has recently obtained ENAC accreditation to provide conformity according to the European rules for drones (R945) intended to be operated in the open category and remote identification add-ons; this is a new service that is added the others related to testing, safety, and regulation. So, if you want the experience of a company with more than 30 years in the aerospace sector, providing trust and assurance, don’t hesitate to contact us.