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2015-12-24 / News

FAA Adopts Drone Regs in Time for Holiday Gift Giving

Lillian Browne
Editor-in-Chief

Drones, or unmanned aircraft, must be registered with the United States Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), under certain conditions.
 Drones, or unmanned aircraft, must be registered with the United States Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), under certain conditions. Registration of small drones, or unmanned aircraft, is now required by the Federal Aviation Administration. The rule that went into effect on Dec. 21 requires that all drones weighing more than .55 pounds (250) grams and less than 55 pounds (approximately 25 kilograms) be registered. Under the rule, anyone who has owned and operated a drone prior to Dec. 21, has until Feb. 16, 2016 to register their aircraft. Drones purchased after Dec. 21 must be registered prior to its first outdoor flight.

The registration fee is $5, but to encourage as many people as possible to register, the FAA has waived the fee for the first 30 days - Dec. 21 to Jan. 20, 2016.

Drone hobbyists or recreational users will only have to register once and may use the same identification number for all model aircraft. The registration is valid for three years.

Registrants must provide their name, home address and email address. Upon completion of the registration process, a Certificate of Aircraft Registration/Proof of Ownership that will include a unique identification number will be generated and must be marked on the aircraft. To register a drone or unmanned aircraft, visit www.faa.gov/uas/registration.

Registration will give the FAA the opportunity to educate drone operators about airspace rules prior to flight and alert them to their accountability to the public, according to FAA officials.

The current registration system does not yet support registration of small drones used for any purpose other than hobby or recreation, such as those used in connection with a business.

Those rules are in development and will be part of the registration process by spring 2016.

Civil violations of the rule could result in fines up to $27,000. The complete rule can be viewed at www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/12/16/2015-31750/registration-and-....

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