CHRISTMAS MORNING – SOMEWHERE IN AMERICA
A 12-year old boy opens a large package under the tree as his mom looks on with a tired smile. “A drone!” the boy exclaims. “Just what I wanted! Thanks, Mom! Can I fly it, now? Can I, please?”
“I’m sorry, hon,” his mom sighs, “but you’re going to have to wait. Daddy’s still on the FAA website.”
Photo by Pond5
And there you have it. For the first time in the history of Christmas, an agency of the United States government will require you to register your child’s toy before he can begin to play with it.
Why? Good question.
This is the opening paragraph from an article titled “The FAA’s Drone Registration Requirement: A Brief Review” Posted on December 20, 2015 on DroneLaw.com
If you were one of the estimated ¾’s of a million people who, this christmas got a drone, be advised, the federal government, specifically the FAA, has enacted new rules which require you, if you are 13 or over, or if you are under 13, someone who is 13 or over does this for you, to register your drone on the FAA website and pay a $5.00 registration fee before you fly your drone. You must also clearly mark your government supplied registration number on your drone. The federal government calls these drones, Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). So really model airplanes would also apply to the rule change.
Is this a good thing? How does this affect regular drone owning citizens. We talk about this and more on this episode.
Until a court rules otherwise, here are the new rules which I share to keep my faithful smarttech listeners out of federal prison…
Effective December 21, 2015, anyone who owns a small unmanned aircraft of a certain weight must register with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) registry before they fly outdoors. People who previously operated their UAS must register by February 19, 2016. People who do not register could face civil and criminal penalties.
Who must register a UAS?
The owner must be:
• 13 years of age or older. (If the owner is less than 13 years of age, a person 13 years of age or older must register the small unmanned aircraft.)
• A U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.
Which unmanned aircraft do I have to register?
Owners must register their UAS online if it meets the following guidelines:
• Weighs more than 0.55 lbs. (250 g) and less than 55 lbs. (25 kg). Unmanned Aircraft weighing more than 55 lbs. cannot use this registration process and must register using the Aircraft Registry process.
• Owners must register their UAS by paper if it meets the following guidelines:
• Your aircraft is used for commercial purposes.
• Your aircraft is used for other than hobby and recreation.
• Your aircraft is greater than 55 lbs.
• You intend to operate your aircraft outside of the United States.
How do I register my UAS?
• It costs only $5 to register your UAS and the process is simple and web-based. Registration is free for the first 30 days. Some things you’ll need before you get started:
• An email address
• Credit or Debit card
• Physical address and mailing address (if different from physical address)
Your registration is valid for three years. Once you receive a registration number, you can use it on all of your unmanned aircraft if they meet the online registration criteria. You must mark the registration number on all aircraft you own.
If you register your drone before January 20, 2016 you will receive a refund of your $5.00.
FAA Drone Registration Site