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Aerial Applicators

  • Aerial Applicator Application/Manned

The State of North Dakota has provisions for becoming an Aerial Applicator which can be found in Administrative Law 6-02-02You may apply for a Manned Commercial Aerial Applicator’s License by completing  SFN 7546Private Aerial Applicators must complete  SFN 2360.

The fee for an Aerial Applicator’s license is $200.00. The license fee must be submitted with the application and is non-refundable.


  • Aerial Applicator Application/Unmanned

The State of North Dakota also has provisions for becoming an Unmanned Aerial Applicator.  You may apply for an Unmanned Aerial Applicator’s License by completing the  SFN 62124

Spring 2022 was the first opportunity for operators to apply for an aerial applicator license specifically for unmanned aircraft (private and commercial). North Dakota Administrative Law 6-02-02 has been updated and now includes requirements and safety standards for unmanned aircraft operators to provide aerial application in North Dakota.

All aerial applicators (both manned and unmanned) are required to meet safety standard criteria and receive licensure from our office. The license fee for either of the aerial applicator licenses will remain at $200. A manned operator that also meets the criteria of the unmanned operator license will need to complete a separate application to be granted that license, however an additional fee will not be assessed.

Operators of all unmanned aircraft used for aerial application must hold FAA Part 137 (Agriculture Operator Certification) and hold a current air/ground core pesticide certification from NDSU. All unmanned pilots must also hold an FAA remote pilot certificate, attend annual safety training, and have attended an approved training program or have received at least ten (10) hours of direct ground-supervised solo flights at operations loads while conducting aerial application. All unmanned aircraft used for aerial application must also be listed on the license, have a maximum operating weight of five-hundred (500) pounds or less, and have paid an aircraft registration fee with our office.

It is also the operator’s responsibility to ensure that any chemicals that are being disbursed from the aircraft are legal and meet EPA and North Dakota Department of Agriculture guidelines.

If you have any specific questions on this new license, give us a call at (701) 328-9650.

Acreage Reporting

All aerial applicators are required to report total acres sprayed by December 1st of each year. You may report acreage online here HERE.

Aerial Applicator Contact Information

For the most current list of licensed North Dakota Aerial Applicators, please contact the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission at (701) 328-9650.

Procedures For Becoming An Aerial Applicator In North Dakota

Every person or business desiring to become engaged in the activity of aerial application in the State of  North Dakota shall make application for and obtain an aerial applicator's license from the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission.

All aircraft operating in North Dakota shall be registered with the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission prior to actual use of the aircraft in this state and prior to the issuance of an aerial applicator's license.

The application shall be filed on forms furnished by the commission and shall set forth the following information:

  • Meet the qualifications for an aerial applicator as set forth in the Rules and Regulations of the N.D. Aeronautics Commission relating to aerial spraying, fertilizing and insect control by aircraft or helicopter.
  • Must be registered as a Certified Agricultural Chemical Applicator before application can be made for a state applicator certification. (Examination may be taken at your county Agent's office, NDSU Extension Service, 701-231- 6388).
  • Non-resident aerial applicators from neighboring states may use their chemical certification from their state as a reciprocating agreement (check with NDSU Extension Service, 701-231-7180).
  • To receive a North Dakota certification, non-residents must obtain a form from the North Dakota Secretary of State (701-328-2900) designating the Secretary as your resident agent.
  • Must have an FAA Part 137 "Agricultural Aircraft Operator Certificate," that can be obtained from FAA FSDO, (701-492-5800). Non-residents must attach a copy of their Part 137 to state spray application. New applicators need an affidavit of experience and hours in aircraft requested on the license.
  • An application must be completed for aerial applicators listing all aircraft and pilots that will be operating under the license. All aircraft must be registered with the state and all pilots must have a current FAA Airman Certificate.
  • All aerial applicators hiring any personnel must take out ND Worker's Compensation on all employees, including pilots, flagmen and ground crews. All operators must have a policy number of their Workmen's Compensation denoted on the spray application before a license will be issued. The phone number for Workmen's Compensation is (701) 328-3800.
  • It is required that each operator attend one agricultural safety meeting a year. This requirement by attending the annual ND Aeronautics Commission safety meeting or going to a Professional Aerial Applicators Support System (PAASS) safety seminar. If you were not able to attend either of these programs, you have the option to watch a two hour video on our website which can be found below.
  • Applicators must maintain an aerial spraying record report for each application. The report is due by December 1st to the Aeronautics Commission and is a summary report of the acres aerial sprayed by category. Non-resident aerial applicator reports shall be mailed to our office before the operator leaves the State of North Dakota.

Chief Pilots located within the state of North Dakota requirements: It is the responsibility of the chief pilot to determine the amount of supervision a pilot requires. The chief pilot must be familiar with the area in which the supervised pilot or pilots are flying and be able to contact each pilot daily as needed. Pilots with less than 2 years experience and less than 250 hours of actual aerial application must be under the direct, personal supervision of a chief pilot and must be flying out of the same airport as the airport in which the chief pilot is operating. The chief pilot of every aerial spraying operation licensed by the Aeronautics Commission must be located within North Dakota during the time of actual aerial spraying operations and the chief pilot shall be responsible for the actions of all pilots under the chief pilot's supervision.

License reciprocity between state - Non-residents: License reciprocity may be granted to nonresidents who meet the aeronautical experience requirements for the operational level sought. Chemical knowledge certification of nonresident aerial applicators must be obtained in North Dakota in accordance with current pesticide regulations.

Airworthiness certificate required: All aircraft licensed for aerial application in North Dakota shall have a current and valid Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness certificate.

Revocation of aerial spraying license: The Director of the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission reserves the right to revoke or refuse to issue an aerial applicator's license for just cause, or for violation of any rule, regulation, procedure or standard after a hearing has been held. On the basis of proper cause shown, the director of this Aeronautics Commission may also suspend a license or refuse to issue a license until such time as a hearing has been held.

Penalty for violation of the rules and regulations: Attention is drawn to ND Century Code section 2-05-18, which relates to the licensing of aerial applicators of agricultural chemicals and provides that any person convicted of violation of any provision of that section or rules or regulation promulgated under the authority of that section shall be guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

Aerial Applicator Alert Maps

To view the North Dakota Aerial Applicator alert map to learn more about the locations of met towers and sensitive areas, visit the Maps page.

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture also provides a great GIS mapping resouce for sensitive areas which can be found on their website.

Aerial Applicator Safety Videos

FOLLOW THIS LINK to watch the 2023 Aerial Applicator Safety Video. Remember to complete the survey to receive credit for the safety meeting requirement.