UAS Section 333 Petition for Exemption Frequently Asked Questions

In Drone Law Blog, FAA Resources, Section 333 Petitions by Enrico Schaefer1 Comment

UAS Section 333 Petition for Exemption

The Federal Aviation Administration regulations concerning drone and UAV use can be complicated for the uninitiated. Section 333 Petition for Exemption is required if you wish to use a drone for commercial purposes within the national airspace (NAS). Our drone law attorney team and UAV expert professionals can help you work through the FAA’s petition for exemption process in order to get you legal.

Here is some further information concerning the FAA Section 333 drone exemption process.

Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Section 333

Section 333 Exemption Petition is essentially a request to the FAA to seek relief from certain requirements under the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR). You need to file a Section 333 Exemption Petition in order to start the FAA permission process to be able to fly a drone for commercial flights.

Submitting a petition for exemption must occur before commencing civil UAS operations. You will also need a certification of waiver or authorization (COA) from the FAA for certain flights, and may operate under the FAA blanket COA for general drone operations.

What is the fee for file a Section 333 Petition for Exemption?

There is no fee payable to the FAA for filing for a Section 333 Exemption. DroneLaw.Pro’s professionals charge a fee to assist with exemption petition preparation and processing through the FAA approval process. You will also need to register your aircraft (drone/UAV) with the FAA before you can start to use your UAV for commercial purposes. Our drone law attorney team and UAV professionals are assisting clients getting their aircraft registered with the FAA. The aircraft registration application form can be complicated for clients who are not used to registering aircraft with the FAA. The local FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) is your primary contact office for aircraft registration.

How long does it take to process the application?

It is typically taking 6 to 8 weeks to get through the Section 333 Exemption Petition process. However, we have seen this timeframe both shrink and expand over the past 6 months depending upon how many applications are being submitted in a particular week and how quickly the FAA is processing exemption applications.

Am I ready to fly once I get my Section 333 Exemption permit?

Once you get your Section 333 Exemption, you still need to comply with the Federal Aviation Regulations that apply to aircraft, excepting those for which exemptions were granted. What many UAV commercial operators don’t understand is that the Section 333 Exemption is not permission to fly. It is an exemption from a handful of specific regulations already in place. There are hundreds of other regulations which still apply. Before you use your drone for commercial purposes, you need to not only get through the Section 333 Petition process, but make sure you have professionals on your side helping you understand how to comply with the exemption permission and Federal Aviation Regulations already in place under FAA jurisdiction.

If you have more questions regarding the filing of a Section 333 Petition for Exemption or compliance of the Federal Aviation Regulations, do not hesitate to contact one of our drone law attorneys or UAV expert professionals.


  1. Steven Burginger

    I have a Private Pilot SEL license with in excess of 400 hours. I have been advised to fly my DJI drone for commercial I can obtain a waiver and certification. Please advise if the rules are contrary’

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