Pesticide Application using Drones

When applying pesticides using drones, several requirements must be met by the pesticide applicator prior to application. Below are the steps to meet those requirements.

Step 1: Certification

To apply pesticides using drones, you first need certification for the area of application. Below are the specific certification categories for common application areas.

  • Obtain a Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Eligibility requirements listed on FAA’s website.
  • Pass the Unmanned Aircraft Genera – Small (UAG) exam.
  • Complete the FFA 137 application to apply pesticides or fertilizers.
  • Flying recreational drones
  • Flying drones conducting a business more information is located on this site and TDOT’s site
  • Private Applicator certification needed only if applying to your property. FAA may require an FAA license
  • If applications are made for a fee on a farm or nursery, it requires category 1 (agriculture) and license
  • If applications are made for a fee in forestry, it requires category 2 (Forest Pest Control) and license
  • If applications are made to a right-of-way (powerlines, railways, pipelines, etc.) it requires category 6 certification and license, if a fee is being charged.
  • You may want to consider obtaining liability insurance.

Learn how to become a Commercial Applicator.

Learn how to become a licensed pest control operator.

Step 2: Aerial License

You must also obtain an Aerial Applicator license (Aerial License). Currently, you must have a pilot’s license to obtain the Aerial Applicator license.

Learn more about obtaining the Aerial License and find required forms, etc. (Found under Additional Requirements heading)

Step 3: Aerial Decal needed – if charging a fee

If you are charging a fee to control pests, you will need to meet TDA’s requirements for Certification and Licensing..

State Regulations and more..

For more information, you may contact the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) at 615-837-5148. Learn more about Certification and Licensing from TDA. 

Drone study guide video for FAA Part 107 sUAS Test here:

Tennessee’s insurance requirement: see Tennessee’s code of annotations 43-8-304.

FAA drone study guide in PDF format.

Insurance companies: STRAVA, WRK of Arkansas, VT Insurance