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Navigating the Night Sky: Legal Nighttime Drone Operations under Part 107

Drones have revolutionized various industries, from photography to agriculture, offering unprecedented perspectives and insights. However, flying drones at night introduces a new set of challenges and safety concerns. Thankfully, with the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Part 107 regulations, it's possible to fly drones at night legally, granted operators adhere to specific guidelines. In this article, we'll explore the regulations and safety measures associated with flying drones at night under Part 107.

Night Operations under Part 107

Part 107 of the FAA regulations outlines the rules and requirements for flying drones for commercial purposes in the United States. While initially the regulations prohibited night operations, they were amended to allow nighttime flying under certain conditions.

To legally operate drones at night, drone pilots must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Obtain a Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate: To fly drones for commercial purposes, operators need to pass the FAA's Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate exam. This certification ensures that drone pilots are knowledgeable about the regulations and safety protocols associated with drone operations.

  2. Anti-Collision Lighting: Drones flown at night must be equipped with anti-collision lighting that is visible for at least three statute miles and able to be seen from all directions. This lighting ensures that the drone is visible to both other aircraft and ground observers.

  3. Waiver for Night Operations: While Part 107 permits nighttime operations, it's essential to remember that the regulations are strict. If a drone pilot intends to fly at night but cannot adhere to the anti-collision lighting requirement or any other conditions outlined in Part 107, they must obtain a waiver from the FAA. This waiver process involves demonstrating the ability to operate safely during the night, often involving additional training and equipment.

Safety Measures for Nighttime Drone Operations

  1. Thorough Pre-Flight Planning: Planning is crucial for any drone operation, but it becomes even more critical at night. Drone pilots must conduct a comprehensive pre-flight assessment, including checking weather conditions, airspace restrictions, and potential obstacles.

  2. Maintain Visual Line of Sight (VLOS): Even at night, drone operators must maintain a clear and unobstructed visual line of sight with the drone. Night operations require heightened vigilance to ensure the drone's position and surroundings are monitored effectively.

  3. Adapt to Limited Lighting Conditions: Flying at night means reduced visibility. Drone pilots should practice flying in low-light conditions to familiarize themselves with how the drone behaves in the dark.

  4. Utilize Advanced Tools: Many modern drones come equipped with obstacle avoidance systems and night-friendly camera settings. Utilize these tools to enhance safety during nighttime flights.

  5. Emergency Procedures: Drone operators should always be prepared for emergencies. This includes having a plan for lost communication or drone malfunctions and knowing how to safely land the drone in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Colorado Drone Production: A Reliable Resource

If you're considering flying drones at night under Part 107, it's crucial to have access to accurate information and resources. Colorado Drone Production offers a wealth of knowledge and expertise in drone operations. With a deep understanding of FAA regulations and industry best practices, they can provide guidance on flying drones legally and safely, day or night.


Flying drones at night legally under Part 107 is possible with the right preparation, equipment, and adherence to regulations. As the drone industry continues to evolve, the opportunity to capture stunning nighttime visuals for various applications is becoming more accessible. Remember, safety should always be the top priority when embarking on nighttime drone operations. By following the guidelines outlined in Part 107 and employing best practices, drone pilots can explore the night sky while maintaining a high standard of safety and professionalism.

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